longer leg after hip replacement

Posted in the Hip Replacement Forum

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ELB

Berkeley, CA

#1 Nov 26, 2006
I just had my left hip replaced last week, and now my left leg is an full inch longer than my right leg. Anyone else experience this, and does it lessen over time as the leg heals?
SJL

San Marcos, TX

#2 Nov 26, 2006
Am 9 weeks out of right total hip. It is 3/8 longer than the other. I was told it can, but somehow I doubt it. Did your surgeon offer you any explanation?
ELB

United States

#3 Nov 30, 2006
My pelvis is pretty twisted, and my physical therapists assure me that the discrepancy will diminish over the next 3 months. But an inch is pretty alarming.
ELB

San Francisco, CA

#4 Jan 2, 2007
My doctor, after careful measuring, agreed the discrepancy was unacceptable. He offered to shorten my leg by removing the (femur) prosthesis and inserting a smaller one in a second surgery three weeks after the first surgery. For anyone considering this, sooner is better than later. I couldn't be happier; any difference is not now noticeable. And six months from now, he would have had to cut my femur in half vertically to remove a grown-in prosthesis.
Renee

Middletown, OH

#5 Jan 3, 2007
My husband's is pretty significant. Anything over 12mm and your lift should be on the outside. He combines a 12mm and a 5mm.
Barbara

United States

#6 Jan 10, 2007
I have 3 centimeters (approximately an inch and an eighth!) difference between my operated and unoperated leg. They were even before the surgery. It is driving me nuts. I have a one 1/8 lift on the outside of my sneaker! The only pair of shoes that I can wear! Shouldn't the surgeon know your pelvis is tilted before he does surgery?
Paul

Loch Sheldrake, NY

#7 Jan 12, 2007
ELB wrote:
I just had my left hip replaced last week, and now my left leg is an full inch longer than my right leg. Anyone else experience this, and does it lessen over time as the leg heals?
My wife had the same problem after her first hip replacement in the early 90's. The doctor screwed up by putting in a stem that was too big for her femur and it didn't seat all the way. The ball and socket were also too big. Go to a good dr but make sure that you get a dr that won't be afraid to tell you the truth. We got lied to by a couple of them and it wasn't fully corrected until she had to have it redone. She went thru hell with it.
Jenny

Auckland, New Zealand

#8 Feb 26, 2007
ELB wrote:
I just had my left hip replaced last week, and now my left leg is an full inch longer than my right leg. Anyone else experience this, and does it lessen over time as the leg heals?
Same for me = 1" longer. Op was almost two years ago and now that I have no pain in the new (cement-free hip and have very good, free movement, I have just checked, and my legs seem to be the same length again. To get an accurate measurement, lie on the floor on your back with legs up against a wall and buttocks hard agaist the wall. Stretch both legs up as far as possible, don't cheat. I do have to get my other hip done at some stage so if my longer leg with the prosthesis had not shortened as it bedded in, I simply would have had the second one made longer. I expect one of the reasons I had so much pain for so long was my body working to adjust this discrepancy. Anyway, it's fine now. Good luck with yours. Regards, Jenny
Jenny

Auckland, New Zealand

#9 Feb 26, 2007
Barbara wrote:
I have 3 centimeters (approximately an inch and an eighth!) difference between my operated and unoperated leg. They were even before the surgery. It is driving me nuts. I have a one 1/8 lift on the outside of my sneaker! The only pair of shoes that I can wear! Shouldn't the surgeon know your pelvis is tilted before he does surgery?
.....Dear Barbara, My hip was left several years too long before my total replacement and was partially subluxated. When I came to after surgery' it was to hear my surgeon saying, "Ah, that's disappointing", as he kept trying to make my foot stay upright but it kept rotating in at a rightangle! I was in so much pain, and still drugged, I had no hesitation in screaming at him that he'd put my leg back on the wrong way!! The poor man was absolutely mortified and admitted to me many months later that he had many sleepless nights over that. What the real problem was, I had waited too long before getting the op. and my leg had been twisted for so long that it took a long time and lots of pain to finally right itself. Getting back to your problem of shoes - I have spent several thousand dollars trying to find comfortable shoes to wear over the past two years and my cleaner has ended up with most of them. Initially, the best ones were Italian sneakers designed like soccer shoes (very trendy) and I wore them with everything including evening clothes! They were very light and flexible with great cushioning. Later, I found that Reiker shoes (German) in various styles, were the most comfortable. If you want your leg to "bed-in", you probably shouldn't build up the other shoe. My surgeon didn't advise it. Time is the great healer. Good luck, from Jenny.
wendy grocott

UK

#10 Jun 1, 2007
I am 5 weeks after total hip replacement and yes I too have noticed my operated leg is longer than my other leg I was warned this might happen by the surgeon and have been told it may settle down or I might have to have a lift in my unoperated leg shoe have to wait and see.
wendy grocott

UK

#11 Jun 1, 2007
Has anyone experienced swollen feet after their hipop how long does this last?
stella spiegl

Sheffield, UK

#12 Jun 13, 2007
My husband has swollen feet. He had a swollen ankle before the hip replacement but now the other ankle and foot has come out in sympathy!
stella spiegl

Sheffield, UK

#13 Jun 13, 2007
see the comment under stella spiegl
stella spiegl

Sheffield, UK

#14 Jun 13, 2007
see the comments under stella spiegl
wendy

UK

#15 Jun 23, 2007
My swollen feet have gone down a lot but they are still quite painfull I am now experiencing restless legs at night has anyone any suggestions ?
Linda

UK

#16 Jun 24, 2007
ELB wrote:
I just had my left hip replaced last week, and now my left leg is an full inch longer than my right leg. Anyone else experience this, and does it lessen over time as the leg heals?
I had my right hip replaced Dec 2006, leaving me with a 3/4 inch discrepency. I am due to have the left hip replaced 2 July and the surgeon has assured me that he will endeavour to regulate the length. The problem was that the prothesis would not go down the femur any further without breaking the bone. Apart from that the replacement has been worthwhile.
Linda

UK

#17 Jun 24, 2007
Oh in addition to the above, the only thing I was offered was a 3/4inch piece of balsa wood to be stuck to the sole of my left shoe. I bought lifts to go in my shoe but they don't make much difference and as a result I have a sore back!
Lisa

Pottstown, PA

#18 Jun 25, 2007
Linda wrote:
Oh in addition to the above, the only thing I was offered was a 3/4inch piece of balsa wood to be stuck to the sole of my left shoe. I bought lifts to go in my shoe but they don't make much difference and as a result I have a sore back!
I had a total hip replacement 8 weeks ago and had a 1 inch difference. My doctor told me he thought it was due to muscles and not the actual length of my legs. My therapist has been working with me and now he says that my legs are very close to being even - and in only a little over 2 weeks! i have the 6 weeks to make up before my doctor discovered that, but I think i am on my way to having very close to even legs!
Anon

UK

#19 Jun 27, 2007
There may be some distortion & twisting in certain patients.

Also when replacing bone with manufactured compenents, the stem may be seated not to the intended point. The offset i.e. height of the femoral head attached to the stem can be sellected during the procedure by using a trial head first. e.g +1.5 to +15.5mm offset. This gives the surgeon room to set & alter leg length.

Surgeon ability, implant choice, instrument capability, and trialing are key to a successful procedure.
san

UK

#20 Jul 6, 2007
Linda wrote:
Oh in addition to the above, the only thing I was offered was a 3/4inch piece of balsa wood to be stuck to the sole of my left shoe. I bought lifts to go in my shoe but they don't make much difference and as a result I have a sore back!
Hi Linda I also have been left with a 30mm difference and have still not been given a lift on my shoes, did you have your op in chorley near preston? the difference in my leg length is driving me mad. I also get a lot of pain.

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