Sciatic Pain post hip replacement : LUSENET : About Joints : One Thread

I had a non cemented hip replacement on Sept 23rd and have terrible sciatic pain which keeps me from sleeping. Can anyone give me advice on how to manage this pain? I am not recovering as well as I expected because of the pain and lack of sleep.

-- Laurence Kopon (, October 12, 2003


I too have had diagnosed Nerve damage and sciatica post operation of a total Hip Replacement. The medication 'Neurontin' and Morphine has been administered.These Medications have helped me to live with the constant pain until a solution , if any, can be found. I am sorry to report that the surgeon that performed the operation refused responsibility claiming I "Rolled over in my sleep" But contrary to his negative remark I found a statement online at John Hopkins that stated sciatic nerve damage 92% of the time is caused by a 'surgeons scalpel'. and I cannot to this date find another surgeon that will touch another surgeons 'mistake' so because of his denial in responsibility I must spend the rest of my life in some degree of pain.

-- Edward Ellis (, November 01, 2003.

My father has had the same problem. (turned 86 yesterday). Prior to taking a fall (while unloading his pickup truck) he was very active. Drives everywhere including major traffic, mentally more alert than I am most days! He cooked, cleaned, did yard work, traveled, etc etc. Now over 2 years since he had two hip operations after the fall... he is still in severe pain. We did seek the 2nd opinion from the Mayo Clinic. Hip specialist said it was not the hip but rather that his back had severe stenosis. Which they told us causes the terrible hip & leg pain he has (they say sciatic nerve). After a total of 15 different days of evaluations by all types of doctors he was ok'd to have a lamnectomy of the lower lumber sections 2, 3, 4, 5. This surgery was awful for him. He made the final decision to have the surgery but after said he would not have done it if he had known how bad the pain of surgery was going to be and the results. The recovery is in week 4 now and his hip pain is worse than before. He says it is stronger and never goes away now. Prior he had times when if sitting or laying "just in the right position" it would ease. His pain is worse on rising, walking and standing in one in doing his dishes. I hope you both find some answers. I felt we tried the best (Mayo) but am unconvinced today that he should have had this back surgery and that perhaps they missed something? How I do not know, as he had nerve conduction tests, bone scans etc. It's a terrible feeling...watching your father deteriorate right in front of your eyes and feeling helpless. Meds including morphine and percocet etc. only dull the pain and at times don't help him at all.

-- Diane Rehder (, November 23, 2003.

My wife had a total hip replacement in April, 2002. She has had nothing but problems since then. She has had chronic pain with all the side effects; no sleep, constant pain, crying, depression, contemplating suicide, etc. She was a fully functional person with a happy life. Now she is basically confined to a couch. She has lost her self as a human being due to pain. She has had 16 epidurals in the last year. Pain management doctors cannot find the problem only saying there is nerve damage from the accident prior to hip surgery. On November 4, 2003, doctors implanted a spinal cord stimulator to help ease the pain. It has helped by about 10-20 percent. She still continues to have her problems but doctors said all cases are different. You might want to ask your pain management doctor if this could be a possibility for you.

Good Luck!!!

-- mike madison (, December 02, 2003.

Had a total hip replacement on Sept. 1, 2003 I am 52 years old. Went to the Doctors again today because of severve pain in my groin, behind my thigh top of my leg. Can't lift my leg up but 2 inches without severe pain. When I had the surgery immediately afterwards my left thigh side of my foot and all my toes were numb. The doctor says it is from my back, which i do have back problems but never any numbness. He says the surgery has been successful and I will be thanking him, don't think so. So today he has said that it is the sciatica nerve being bruse during surgery and is sending me to therpy starting Monday, I agreed because thinking it will help, but listening the responses I just don't know. I really thought he had cut something during surgery because of the numbness but getting them to admit it. First I was on tylox and now on Vicondin. I have taken since Sept. over 500 pain pills. Any information to help would be apprciated.

Joyce Horne

-- Joyce Horne (, December 10, 2003.

Hi Laurence I am going through the same thing, I have sciatic nerve damage after having a total hip replacement, Dr said everything went well. Yea right, then whay is by back so sore and how come i am paralized on one side of let with a foot drop and pain that wont let me sleep either, I am now on percoset and neurontin, It has helped a little, You might want to ask your Dr about it, I thought I would be find by Thanksgiveing but hardly remember it and now Christmas is only 12 days away, I have lots of help and hope you do too. I have researched on the net and read that most nerve damaage will repair itself, just takes time sorry about all my mispells, just dont feel like correcting, lol good lluc Diane

-- diane pennamen (, December 14, 2003.

I had a total hip replacement (non cemented) on 4/1/04. Besides now having my one leg 3/8" longer and wearing a lift to compemsate, I continue to have problems relating to nerve damage. My right leg continues to turn cold and numb. I can't sit in my office chair for more then 20 minutes at a time. Doctor doubts it is related to my surgery even though it started the same day. Go figure. No answers yet on what to do.

-- Bill Hammel (, March 06, 2004.

Hi Bill I dont know if you have read any of my posts but they all have to do with nerve damage caused at the time of my hip replacment, I also cannot sit very long and have no feeling in the side of my leg and foot, also have drop foot. My os said it is sciatice nerve damage but continues to say he does'nt know what happened,They say the sciatic nerve repairs itself at the rate of one inch a month, I have heard that vitamin b12 shots are very helpful and are supposed to wrap themselves around the nerve, Can't hurt. I quit visiting my os and am now seeing a pain specialist and am going to start pt soon, Hope you are doing better

-- Diane from Seattle (, March 07, 2004.

My husband is 44 yrs old and had a left total hip replacement 2/26/04. The first couple weeks were better than now. He has constant pain in his scrotum on the left side and says at times the pain is the same as it was before the surgery. Ortho Dr. sayd he must have gooton a virus and it went to the joint area. Who knows?

-- Carice Haskell (, April 25, 2004.

Update...I was Pain relief Dr has told me if the damage to the sciatic Nerve has not healed in 2 years then I am stuck with this injury and resulting pain the rest of my life. Sadly, its been 2 1/2 years.I had a second opinion by a Sports Orthopedic Dr who would not treat me. He says its hard to get another surgeon to come behind a surgeons 'mistake' and if I can't get the original surgeon to try and help me in quick order, I am doomed. This was elective surgery,I was 46 years old at the time of the operation.I walked fine, I ran fine, I had no pain..Only if I fell would the pain be severe..Now I can't walk a block and a half without falling to the ground,I can't drive anymore and will be on narcotics the rest of my life. I was a productive citizen in life with my own business...Now I am busted broke and living in public housing..How can this happen in america? YES I have sued, but I will be tied up in court for 5 more years.I'd rather have use of my leg back no matter how bad the Dr said it was in

-- Edward Ellis (, June 21, 2004.

Hello Laurence,I have the same problem as well with my scatic pain. What has helped me in a small measure is going to a reflexoloist.Unfortunatly the effects of it only last for a little while.When the pain is really bad I take one vicondin pill and two flexrill pills but your Dr. may not like that combination but it does help for a while. I am unable to do anything though, after taking it, so I just stay in bed.It knocks me out for a good 12 hrs. I'm 43 and may have to stop working cause the pain is getting worse. I was in a car wreck 24 yrs ago and I broke my rt.elbow ,my rt. hip, my rt. knee, my rt. ankle and my left foot. I have a keyless hip compression screw in my hip and two bolts in my knee, and screw and wires in my elbow, and all the nerv damage I suffered and the arthritis in my joints is nothing compared to the sciatic nerv pain I feel.I also have numbness in my good leg cause it is so ove worked and it it is much more muscular then the rt. leg.The sciatic pain even pays me a visit just sitting in a comfortable chair LOL. The Dr.'s talk about a hip fusion instead of hip replacement because of my age. They said, I would need another hip replacement in less then ten yrs., but none of the doctors can seem to agree that the siatic pain will go away after hip fusion or get worse. So I'm not too sure what I should do either. Depending how bad your sciatic nerv is you will probably have bad days where every step you take will be painful. I am a mechanic and some days I come home to relax and I hurt worse when my body is at rest, then I did while at work. I have even tried accupressure and accupuncture and full body massage, but nothing I try last past two or three days. Keep searching for a way to eliminate the pain and let me know,please.

-- B. Crawford (, July 21, 2004.

Well Well well, this web site is interesting. I've searched the web for answers but only today (december 13th 2004) was given the key word "sciatica" to type into Google.It has been three weeks now since my hip replacement (non cemented ceramic). I'm 50, I've managed arthritic pain for 23 years and very bad pain since Easter. Nothing, repeat, nothing, prepared me for the pain following this hip replacement. No one at the hospital believed me, or indeed listened. I felt I was labelled as an "hysteric". Follow up care was non existant. After resorting to phoning the Samaritans one night I started to get angry and phoned and wrote until the NHS wheels started to crank around. Today a physiotherapist called, the first to listen and talk sense. Sciatic nerve damage. Now at last I can begin to understand and to quickly plan some action. I'm junking the pills which fog my brain, I've booked massage (the first was tonight), booked physio, booked water/swimming therapy for january. I'll be staying up very late and throwing myself into hobbies so that I'm dead beat by the early hours and will get some natural rather than drug induced sleep. Wish me luck. Sandra

-- Sandra Rowney (, December 13, 2004.

I originally posted on 3/6/04 concerning cold and numbness in my leg after the surgery. I recd some info from a "poster" that it was likely nerve damage. The neurologist says it is damage to my "sympathetic" nerve system. Not sure what to do except to take small doses of nortryptoline to mask the discomfort(also helps you sleep). 20 months later and it has not gotten much better. Leg lentgh changed 3/8 inch and caused my lower vertibrates to herniate. Steroid Novacaine injections seem to taken care of it for now. The surgeon denies that any complication could be from the surgery....

-- Bill Hammel (, December 23, 2004.

My Wife had Total hip replacemet(Right leg)(a piece? is put into top of bone and a new Ball joint) Hope got it right. Op was last Weds. She has since had a complete numbnes in right foot and cannot move her toes. Just fully found out today, did save about Sciatic nerve 4 days ago. Today has been told about Drop foot. The Hip is fine. They have supplied a plastic splint goes under foot and up back of calf. It seems she may now be in till middle of next week due to not moving around enough to attempt stairs but got very dispondent. Reading all the other posts it has now made me feel very worried, Do some heal up and cause no further trouble ????????

-- Colin Stewart (, January 13, 2005.

I am so glad I found this site as it confirms what I think is happening to my 82 y.o. mom. She fell on January 17th and had a right femur fracture so a partial cemented hip replacement was done. She progressed well since then, but it came to a screeching halt about 2 weeks ago when she began experiencing severe pain "shooting down her leg" and pain in her right groin area. She went to see a different OS as the one who did the surgery was where we were traveling at the time of the accident. He commented that the surgery looked good and speculated from her recent xrays that she was developing calcification spots on the bone causing inflamation, but it would pass. Since I also suffer from peridodic sciatica pain, I always suspected some problem with the sciatic nerve due to her classic symptom of pain shooting down the leg. The OS put her on Aleve and Percocet and physical therapy this week, but it hasn't helped and I think we will need to see a pain management specialist if it doesn't go away soon. To further complicate the situation she had suffered a stroke 6 years ago and her left side was her bad side and had a foot drop. Now her former good side is the worse side and she is having difficulty trying to compensate with her left side. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Houston TX

-- S Sada (, March 13, 2005.

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