Hip replacement surgeries have been performed since 1960, and they are one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed. Techniques for hip replacement have evolved since their initial beginning, and surgeons are continually developing less invasive surgical techniques. The goal of these less invasive techniques is to minimize pain and reduce overall hip replacement surgery recovery time.
Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery
Immediately following hip replacement surgery, you may feel some initial discomfort while walking or exercising. That said, many patients are able to get up and walk around the same day as their surgery! The pain you felt in your hip before your surgery should be completely gone, although you of course will be somewhat sore from the operation. This pain should not last very long, however, especially if you keep up physical therapy.
Physical therapy for hip replacement recovery will usually begin the day after your surgery. Within a few days, you should be able to walk with a cane, crutches or a walker. Some patients will require a stay in a rehabilitation facility for additional therapy before they go home. This stay will generally only last a few days or so and is dependent upon the patient’s needs. The age of the patient and what their home environment is like – for example. Is someone available to assist them at home during the first few days of recovery? Are there many stairs to climb?
Once you’re released from the hospital or rehabilitation facility, you’ll need to continue with outpatient physical therapy in order to help you to continue to progress. Outpatient facilities will utilize exercise equipment to help increase your range of motion, as well as incorporate balance exercises to help decrease your risk of falling, which could damage your hip and increase your recovery time.
While balance exercises will help reduce falls, you should also make sure you safeguard your home to prevent them. Remove throw rugs and get rid of clutter on the floor so there’s nothing you could potentially trip over. Stay as active as you can to help regain the use of your joint and muscles. Use the mobility aid of your choice until you’re able to walk comfortably and be stable on your feet without it.
Some other things you can do at home to help aid in your hip replacement surgery recovery include making some other modifications to your home, like adding a raised toilet seat and a shower chair. You’ll want to avoid bending at the waist beyond a 90 degree angle, as this could cause your new hip joint to become dislocated. Be careful in your movements; no reaching down to pick items up off the floor when you’re sitting down, don’t bring your knee up higher than your hip, and no kneeling on the knee of the leg that had surgery. Avoid strenuous sports like jogging. However, you’ll be able to get back to lighter activities like walking and golf within a few months.
Today’s hip replacements can last upwards of 15 years, as long as you’re following your physical therapy regimen and taking the proper precautions to avoid a fall.
American Senior Communities provides rehabilitation for hip replacement patients and others through the Moving Forward Rehabilitation program offered at locations statewide. For more information, please visit http://www.ascseniorcare.com/mf/.