Today I received a message on one of the forums I moderate, and it was so incredible to me what this person experienced that I wanted to share my thoughts with you. Here’s the message I received:
I am a 50 year old man. In the last 2 1/2 years, due to advanced osteoarthritis and other related complications, have had 6 hip surgeries. Two total hip replacements on the right hip, accompanied by two hip revisions on that same hip. And a total left hip replacement on the left hip accompanied by a subsequent follow up total hip revision 3 weeks later. My right hip has had both anterior and posterior surgeries. All of this in 2 1/2 years. My question is this. I know that repetitive hip surgeries like this are not typical for most people. I am currently on anti-inflammatory medication and meds for my arthritis. I am also on a pain management program. I am frustrated because neither my surgeon or my personal MD are able or even willing to give me any kind of idea about the healing time frame for my injuries. I have been through extensive physical therapy. With your experience and expertise, what are your thoughts about healing and long term prognosis?? It’s depressing and frustrating for me. And I’m worried about this being as good as it gets. My last total hip was done on the right hip in July of 2012. AND I do realize that it will take time. If you have any suggestions or thoughts I would be very indebted to you… Thank you for taking the time.
After reading his message, I don’t question the doctors for their decisions, but I wonder if it could possibly have been avoided if only someone had looked at the muscles first — before surgery! Here’s the response I gave to this man:
I have found that many people have horrible pain and it’s caused by the muscles being so tight that they are pulling hard on the joint. The analogy I always use is, if you pull your hair really hard your head will hurt and you won’t be able to turn in the opposite direction. It’s the same with muscles and joint: when the muscle is pulling hard it will cause pain at the joint and you can’t move in the opposite direction.
In the case of a joint replacement, the muscles had to be surgically removed from the bone, and then the new replacement joint is put into place and the muscle is replaced. The problem is, when the muscle is removed it shortens back to its shortest length, yet it is rarely massaged to release the spasms that formed during the procedure.
I suggest you read my website’s Home Page, plus the sections titled “Muscles and Pain” and “What’s Happening Exactly.” Then read about the muscles that cause pain from the low back, through the hips, sciatic, and legs — all the way to the lower leg and foot.
I believe it’s important for you to massage all of the muscles listed in the thread. You can either do it yourself, the website will explain how, or you can go to a good massage therapist who is trained at doing trigger point therapy. You will be amazed at how much relief you will get.
If you don’t have something life-threatening, treating the muscles could possibly save you a lot of pain, and potentially prevent surgery.
Wishing you well,