When you have a joint replacement, your hip joint is replaced with an artificial joint. The artificial joint has metal components that allow it to move and a plastic cup that contains the ball and socket joint. The metal and plastic components are held together with a ligament called the iliopsoas tendon.
Because of this, you might experience some discomfort when your hip is new. This is called iliopsoas tendonitis. It’s a common problem that many people experience after hip replacement. It usually goes away on its own within a few weeks. But you may need to do some things to help it heal faster.
Iliopsoas Tendonitis Symptoms
If you’ve recently had hip replacement surgery, you may be experiencing symptoms that indicate you have this condition. While it can be frustrating, knowing the signs will help you get the treatment you need and return to your active, healthy lifestyle.
Some of the main symptoms of iliopsoas tendonitis include:
- Sharp pain in the lower abdomen
- Sharp pain when you put weight on the affected leg
- Sharp pain when you move the leg
- Sharp, deep pain in the back of the hip when you put weight on the leg
- Decreased range of motion in the hip
- Swelling in the groin or upper thigh
- Difficulty walking or standing
Causes and Risk Factors of Iliopathy
There are a number of causes of i iliopathy, which include:
- Hernia repair or reconstruction
- Previous trauma to the area
- Genetics (Glycotestene and collagen degradation)
Aging is often overlooked as a potential risk factor for developing iliopathy. As people age, their connective tissue (i.e. tendons, ligaments and joint capsules) become less strong. This means they’re more likely to become inflamed.
Risk factors for developing iliopathy include:
- Being a woman
- Having diabetes
- Being obese
- Having metabolic syndrome
Confused? What Is Iliopathy?
Iliopathy is a condition in which the iliopsoas tendon becomes inflamed. This condition is typically self-limiting, meaning it responds well to conservative treatment options. However, in some cases, it can become chronic, requiring surgical intervention.
The hip joint is made up of the acetabulum (socket) and femur (thighbone) bones. The socket is the part that fits into the pelvis, and the femur is the main bone of the hip. The ball-and-socket joint of the hip allows for smooth, gliding movement. When the hip becomes injured or degenerative, the surrounding tissue can become inflamed, causing iliopathy.
How Do You Treat Iliopathy?
The main goal in treating iliopathy is to loosen the tightness in the hip flexor muscles. In many patients, this can be achieved through massage, icing and stretching. Strengthening the core muscles and walking your dog regularly are also excellent treatments for iliopathy. Avoid strenuous activity until the condition has healed and your doctor has given you the all-clear.
Get plenty of rest
You should avoid strenuous activities during the first few weeks after surgery. This is because the antibiotics that you receive during this time may make your hip infection worse. If you have iliopsoas tendonitis, you should rest your hip. You should also avoid putting any significant weight on your leg. Avoid bending your knee or walking on your toes. Instead, walk on your heels or walk with a stick if you need to help get up and down stairs.
Ice your hip for at least 20 minutes at a time
When you have iliopsoas tendonitis, you may experience aching or swelling in your hip. To reduce the pain, apply an ice pack to your hip for 20 minutes at a time. Make sure that the ice pack is wrapped in a towel or stuffed in a plastic bag so that it doesn’t get contaminated. You can also pour a bag of frozen vegetables or ice cubes in a plastic bag and place it on your hip. Be careful not to over-ice your hip. This can cause your leg to swell and put pressure on your joint.
Use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by iliopsoas tendonitis. You can buy non-prescription anti-inflammatory medicine at your local pharmacy.
These include ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin), naproxen (e.g., Aleve), and other medications. Be careful when you take these medications. Limit yourself to the smallest dose that you need because you may be dependent on them after surgery.
If you take too much, they could lead to stomach or intestinal bleeding. You should also call your doctor if the medicine doesn’t help your symptoms or if you experience side effects.
Take ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID)
If over-the-counter medicine doesn’t help your pain or if you’re experiencing side effects, you may consider taking an NSAID. Ibuprofen is a NSAID that’s commonly used after hip surgery. However, your doctor may prescribe another NSAID if ibuprofen isn’t appropriate for you due to a health condition, such as a heart condition.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to take these medications. Many people don’t follow the dosing instructions that are included with their medicine. This can lead to side effects, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding. If you take too much ibuprofen or another NSAID, contact your doctor or go to the emergency room.
Avoid activities that aggravate your hip
Some activities may make your hip pain worse after hip replacement. These include stretching your hip and engaging your glute muscles. Try to avoid these activities until your iliopsoas tendonitis has healed.
Strengthen your hip muscles with physical therapy
Strengthening your hip muscles can help reduce your risk of developing iliopsoas tendonitis after hip replacement. A physical therapist can help you do this. Physical therapy can help you learn how to strengthen your hip muscles so that you can use them properly. Your physical therapist can also teach you how to relax and stretch your hip muscles. This will help you avoid putting too much strain on your joint.
Follow your physical therapist’s instructions
Your physical therapist will help you learn how to do stretching and strengthening exercises correctly. You should do these exercises three times a week for about 20 minutes each. Make sure that you can do the exercises without pain. If you have iliopsoas tendonitis, your physical therapist can help you identify other activities that aggravate your hip.
These include bending and twisting, climbing stairs, and picking up your baby. When your physical therapist identifies these triggers, she will help you modify the activity so that you can continue to live a normal life.
Get a walking stick if you need help getting up and down stairs
If you have to use a cane or crutches after hip replacement, you may have iliopsoas tendonitis. A walking stick can help you get up and down stairs when your hip doesn’t feel right. You can purchase one at a store that sells sports accessories.
Use pain medication only when you really need it
You should only use pain medication when you have to. This includes prescription and non-prescription medications that treat pain. You should only take the medication in the morning when you wake up. You should not take it while you are sleeping.
You should also not take two different kinds of pain medications at the same time. This can lead to confusion and vomiting. Be careful when you take pain medication and don’t take more than the recommended dose. This can cause your hip joint to become weaker.
Stay active and maintain your exercise routine
You should stay active and maintain your exercise routine while your hip is healing. This will help your hip muscles stay strong. But if you have iliopsoas tendonitis, you should avoid activities that make your hip sore or that put pressure on your joint. For example, if you normally walk or run, you should take a break until your hip is fully healed. Instead, do low-impact activities, such as swimming or yoga.
Keep using your walking stick as needed
If you have an artificial joint, you may need a walking stick for the first few weeks after surgery. This stick can help you get up and down stairs and can help you prevent slipping. But you should use it sparingly. It should be used as a crutch and as a support when you need it. You should be careful not to over-use it. This can lead to a back injury.
If you have iliopsoas tendonitis, you should see your doctor. The condition may be more serious than you think. Your doctor can diagnose it and give you a treatment plan. Your doctor can also refer you to a physical therapist if needed. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and get plenty of rest. With time, your hip will heal and you’ll be able to get back to your normal activities.
Hip surgery is a major event that can change your life. However, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of i iliopathy to help prevent complications. If you experience any of these symptoms after surgery, see your doctor immediately. You may need to take a short recovery break or modify your rehabilitation program.
Do you have any questions about iliopsoas tendonitis after hip replacement? Let us know in the comments below!