After a hip replacement, you feel better. But now, you are experiencing buttocks discomfort. Although it is a painful sensation in the bum after a hip replacement, buttocks irritation is not uncommon.
What we know about hip replacement
Is hip replacement a panacea for all problems? Does it work every time? Many people mistakenly think that a hip replacement is the same as having a new car part installed. It’s actually a major surgery that involves removing the hip joint and installing a prosthesis. Many people still experience pain after hip replacement.
These tendon findings shouldn’t be surprising considering that we know that certain things, such as a backfusion, can make hip replacement outcomes more difficult. We know that a replacement hip won’t increase your activity level. This is often contrary to what patients believe. We know that younger hip-replacement patients perform worse than their less active older counterparts.
What are the side effects of hip replacement?
An invasive procedure is hip arthroplasty, which replaces the hip. Even with all the modern advances, there are likely to be side effects for patients who have had a hip replacement. Here are some of the most common side effects of hip replacement surgery.
- Infection of the surgical site, or newly implanted hip joints
- An area of settling scar tissue on the side of your buttocks may cause a dent.
- Surgical pain in the hip joint or surrounding area
- Nerve damage
- Leg length differences
- Hip joint dislocation
Certain complications are more common after hip replacement surgery than others. How can I tell if my buttock pains are normal or if I should see my doctor?
What kind of pain occur after hip replacement?
It is not possible to avoid pain following a hip replacement surgery. Different types of pain can occur in the body, so it is important to be able to distinguish between normal pain and serious pain.
Common types of pain following a hip replacement
1. Surgical Pain
Due to the nature of a hip-replacement, it is quite normal to feel pain during healing. The pain that follows a hip replacement procedure is usually intense in the initial days.
This type of pain will likely be limited to the area of surgery (the hip, incisions and buttocks), and will require medication.
Your pain after surgery will decrease and eventually disappear.
2. Inflammation and swelling
The body heals itself by creating inflammation and swelling in the area affected after a hip replacement.
During the first few days following your procedure, the pressure and irritation caused by inflammation can cause severe pain.
As you heal, anti-inflammatory pain medication (with the approval of your doctor) and resting your hip may help to reduce inflammation.
3. Pain with Movement
It will be difficult to move your hip after the initial healing period. It is important to start physical rehabilitation in order to regain full range of motion and strength for your hip.
It is not uncommon to feel pain or stiffness after hip replacement exercises, particularly in the large muscles of the buttocks.
As you gain strength, the pain will begin to diminish. For a faster recovery, it is important to exercise regularly after a hip replacement.
After a hip replacement, causes of buttock pain
The hip joint is the largest in your body. It is very common for pain to originate from this area and present to the front of your hips, thighs, or even buttocks.
However, buttock pain is the most common site to refer pain from the hip! It is possible to identify the source of your pain by looking at where you feel it.
What can cause pain in the buttocks? Most often, pain in the buttocks following hip replacement occurs because:
- Acetabular (joint), irritation
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Iliopsoas tendonitis
- Gluteal weakness
Rarely, pain in the gluteus after hip replacement surgery may be caused by nerve entrapment or muscular damage.
If you have persistent buttock pain that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, talk with your doctor.
Other causes of pain after hip replacement
Watch my video to learn more about the causes of butt discomfort after hip replacement. Then, read this detailed review about hip replacement materials and sizes and other issues that could go wrong. If you have had a hip replacement but still feel pain, here’s a short list of things you need to consider.
- An allergy to hip replacement materials. Common allergies are caused by the cement or nickel/cobalt used in the manufacture of the device.
- Prosthesis that is either too long or too short. This can cause leg length discrepancies.
- Hip pain that came from somewhere other than your arthritic joint. This means that hip pain could have been referred from the SI joint or the low back. The original pain source was never treated by replacing the hip joint.
- A pseudotumor. This is caused by irritation to the local tissues from the hip replacement device.
- Wear particles resulting from a metal/on-metal replacement or minimally invasive anterior joint replacement (Birmingham Hip or “Hip Resurfacing”) Wear debris is a material that causes irritation to the tissues and pain.
A View from the Back
The muscles that make up your buttocks are large and strong. Protect your bony pelvis by cradling the socket of your hips. This area contains muscles, bones, bursas, tendons and nerves. It is a bustling place.
If pain is near your hip joint, it doesn’t need to travel far to feel as if it’s coming from your buttocks.
This could mean that the hip pain may also be coming from the lower back, SI joint and other structures.
How long does glute pain last after a hip replacement?
After hip replacement, symptoms such as glute pain may persist for several weeks. It is not uncommon to feel discomfort for up to two months. However, it should be mild.
Problems with your buttocks may cause you to have trouble standing, sitting, walking, or exercising. If pain becomes a problem in your daily life, it’s time to get help.
Glute pain following surgery should subside by 3 months. Sometimes, the pain can persist for longer. Don’t panic if it happens to you.
Tips to Reduce buttock pain after hip replacement
Light stretches can be used to relieve pain for the first six weeks following surgery. You can also do Soft tissue mobilization (described further). This guide contains strengthening exercises that will strengthen the muscles supporting the hip and relieve stress from irritated glutes.
Tip: You may need to take additional precautions based on the specific procedure you have had, such as a hip arthroscopy that uses a lateral approach.
For any particular exercises or movements to be avoided, consult your surgeon or physical therapist.
After a hip replacement, exercises for glute pain
Glute Soft tissue mobilization
To apply pressure to your buttocks, use a foam roller or a massage ball. You may feel some discomfort, but you will find the pressure that is comfortable for you without experiencing any significant changes in your symptoms.
You can choose from a variety of positions depending on how much time you have after surgery or your level of comfort and ability.
- You can place the ball/roller on a wall, and then lean against it to apply pressure to your problem area.
- Place the ball/roller in a sturdy chair, and then sit down on it.
- Place the ball/roller on the ground and place it on top.
To create a rolling motion, rotate your body from side to side or up to down.
For easier squatting, you can lean against a wall or a Swiss ball. Then, step out a few feet. To squat, keep your torso straight and bend your knees and hips.
Keep your knees from extending beyond your toes. For a few seconds, hold the position and then stand up.
Place your back on a chair’s edge. Keep your knee straight and extend your leg in front of your body. Standing straight, bend forward from your hips, keeping your lower back straight, until you feel a stretch behind the leg.
Now, hold on and slowly get back up. You don’t have to reach for your toes.
Begin by lying on your opposite side of the one that you had surgery, with your knees bent and your hips bent. Rotate your top leg up towards the ceiling by grabbing it. Slowly return the top leg to the opposite leg.
You can put a resistance bandaround your knees to make this exercise more difficult.
The Clamshell Exercise is a favorite of our, as it is easy to do at home and targets the muscles in our hips that are often neglected.
For your joints and glute muscles, hip exercises and core stabilization are very beneficial. Aquatics can be a great way to practice your resistance and range of motion in a weightless environment.
If your buttock pain continues after 6 weeks, consult your physical therapist. You may also be able to seek out hands-on or other treatments to help your symptoms.
When should you visit your doctor?
We now know what to expect from a hip replacement. However, it is important to recognize when our bodies are trying to tell us something is wrong.
Seniors with hip replacements should consult their doctor if there are any concerns regarding their healing process. This will help prevent further infection.
For medical advice, consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms following a hip replacement.
- Any severe pain you are unable to manage with your prescribed medication
- After surgery, you may experience massive swelling or bruising for several weeks.
- Signs of infection at surgical sites (push, redness and pain, as well as foul odor)
- Excessive bleeding at the surgical site
- A possible sign of a blood clot is swelling, redness or pain in the lower leg.
- Significant changes in your health after surgery
At-home treatments can help avoid many of these problems. There are many at-home exercises that can be done to strengthen your hips and prevent further complications once you have been cleared to do weight bearing and stretching after a hip replacement.
The hip replacement procedure is a complex and difficult one that requires extensive healing. It is important to recognize that buttock pain after surgery is normal. This will help you identify potential complications and prevent them from affecting your healing.