Back pain after hip replacement

Posted , 23 users are following.

Now nearly 6 weeks post op after left THR and experiencing pretty severe back pain slightly left of my middle back. A very mild version of it started early on and I assumed (and still do) that it was down to having to constantly lie on my back. It bothers me night and day now and I'm really disappointed to be back on pain meds for this, having come off them for the actual hip about three weeks ago. Another feature of it is that it's sore when I take a full breath. 

Has anyone experience anything similar?

0 likes, 22 replies

22 Replies

  • Posted

    I am 3 weeks post op THR on the right side with the same back pain.  Doctor said it was due to the fact that now I am stand up straight again and it will take sometime for the muscles to adjust.
  • Posted


    I had RTHR last July and I experienced similar problem, I put it down to sitting in an unnatural position after the op due to swelling on operated side, but I did find it righted itself after swelling went down.

    Good luck


  • Posted

    I'm 3.5 weeks post surgery and have been struggling with the same problem. The doc said it was due to the body adjusting to the right sized leg. I use lumbar support when sitting, try to sit completely straight, and do extra back-strengthening exercises in addition to the hip replacement exercises they gave me.  Try to flex and hold the lower back muscles throughout the day. All this has seemed to help. At the end of the day, I usually fall asleep in the recliner with a heating pad. 

    • Posted

      Jollykev thanks for this. I'm just not sure what you mean by 'flex and hold the back muscles'? How do you do this? By holding in the abs?

    • Posted

      Look up the "Superman exercise" on line.  To do this, you lay on the floor on your stomach.  Simultaneously raise your arms and feet.  This engages your lower back and core muscles.  The superman exercise may be a little much for some, so what my therapist told me to do initially was to lay on my back, then try and raise your stomach up while keeping your buttocks and shoulder blades on the ground.  You won't be able to raise it more than an inch or two, but you'll feel your back muscles flexing/engaging.  Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.  A very simple way to engage the back, really the core, is to sit up straight and just pull in the stomach.  You should feel your back muscles contract as well.  Once again, hold for 30 seconds and repeat.  Anything you can do to strengthen the core helps.  I do the superman exercise once daily and try to flex/contract my core muscles multiple times throughout the day.  I think this has really helped me.  

      Good luck!

    • Posted

      Thanks Jollykev, I had a look at this online, it looks great. I'm not able to do stomach lying quite yet but I'll stick to the other ones you mentioned until the hip is stronger. Much appreciate your advice smile

  • Posted

    Hi jeanette, 

    You just had  major orthopedic surgery - Not only brutal and very invasive but also caused disruption to the rest of your body.

    Just picture it - leg has been manipulated, joint forcefully removed, cavities prepared to have foreign objects (aka hardware) being hammered in -

    In all likelihood, whatever your body has been doing to compensate for your hip pain or malfunction before this surgery has also been causing problems all on its own.

    Bad posture, overcompensation etc. and in my case  severe muscle tightness all up and down my leg and around the hip - Decades of muscle memory don't disappear overnight.  

    My new hips also pushedaffected my pelvis, as I was told, causing the femur to bear weight differently.

    My surgeon assures me it will go away as my body re-adjusts to the new alignment. 

    It is so uncomfortable isn't? and discouraging ...

    do you have physcal therapy? gentle stretching exercises might help as some deep tissue massages -

    just know that this is normal and relax ...

    how are you getting on otherwise?

    big warm hug



    • Posted

      Hi, I'm new to this group, , I'm 48 YO female and I had my THR on Feb 14 and it has been pretty good, until this last couple of days, because I don't know if the pain is muscular or my bones or joint...

      But your explanation of makes so much sense and I hope this weird lower buttock pain goes away.

      The thing is, you read so many things online and the fear of dislocation gets worse.

      I'm sorry, I know this is about a year old post; but as I said, reading it put me on some ease.

    • Posted

      Spooky I had my right hip replaced on the 15th February this year..having had my left hip replaced October 2014..

      This one totally different..left hip wound was superglued..this one was stapled..had staples removed and developed an infection..2 courses of antibiotics and antibiotic cream..and now have this dreadful dreadful back ache above my bum cheek..had it just over a week now and although I have a really high pain threshold its begining to get me hurts when I walk, sit, lay down.

      Going to try a hot water bottle in a mo..

      Post op appt with surgeon was cancelled for Wednesday past so saw a Surgeon at ortho clinic yesterday as still not happy with scar..he said it was 'normal' still not convinced but have an appt in 2 weeks with the surgeon from Wednesday..can always got to my GP if need be I guess..still get 'that' ache in the groin sometimes as well..

      Long long healing process isnt it..

  • Posted

    Hi all, thanks so much for your responses. Glad I'm not the only one who's experienced this! Things are fine with the actual hip so I shouldn't be complaining, and yes, I do have existing back conditions but they never would particularly have caused pain before... I guess I need to wait a while and be less impatient! I'm still doing all my hip ex and have added some for this back thing, but they're mainly ab ones. 

    Massage might be a good idea.

    I know side lying could give me some relief but I have quite wide hips and I think side lying on the non op side is not something I'll be able to do for the forseeable or maybe ever. Oh well...

  • Posted

    In just had hip surgery 2 days ago and the owner back pain is excruciating at times preventing me from sleeping. I have tried muscle relaxers,pain oils, the whole nine yards all withno relief. Best of uck with your recovery
  • Posted

    4 weeks as of yesterday I had total hip replacement. .my lower back is killing me in the same place just like before the surgery. .iam miserable.. I went back to therapy...hopefully it will go away.. the Doc.. ((and I went to him.because he is a equestrian. As iam. He told me ide b back on in 8 weeks.. I just don't see that..

  • Posted

    4 weeks as of yesterday I had total hip replacement. .my lower back is killing me in the same place just like before the surgery. .iam miserable.. I went back to therapy...hopefully it will go away.. the Doc.. ((and I went to him.because he is a equestrian. As iam. He told me ide b back on in 8 weeks.. I just don't see that..

  • Posted

    I am 1 year post RTHR. A few thoughts about your back distress. A few months after surgery, I experienced constant back pain. I consulted a chiropractor who diagnost my condition as primarily due to my operated right leg was now longer than my left. This difference caused an imbalance while walking, which over time caused severe back pain. I purchased a quarter inch heel lift for my left shoe. It took some time but it solved my back pain. The chiro gave me a number of strenching exercises which helped as well. I also recommend yoga as a great whole body exercise to maintain flexibility. Best wishes on your journey to full health.
  • Posted

    I'm nearly seven weeks after a right THR and the pain I'm having in my left lower back is incapacitating. Both my hips need replacing (the consultant asked me which I wanted doing first), and historically I have had back pain. So is the pain I'm getting on the opposite side to the operation only going to go away when I have the left one done?

    Due to work commitments I'll have to wait until next year for that.

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