Hip disorders can be painful and disabling and cause disruption to everyday life. If you are finding that your hip condition or pain is getting worse, or that symptoms have not improved with nonsurgical treatment methods, hip replacement surgery may be the best solution.
Advances in hip replacement surgery and greater knowledge of human anatomy have led to surgical techniques becoming increasingly precise, joint implants are designed better than ever before, and surgery being less and less invasive. All of this means less pain during recovery, faster healing time, fewer complications, and better outcomes for patients.
Post-Op Recovery After Hip Surgery
You will need to stay in the hospital for two to five days following hip replacement surgery. You will be given pain medication after the operation to help make you more comfortable, and a special pillow may be placed between your legs to keep the hip in position while it heals.
You should try to sleep with the pillow between your legs for around six weeks. Depending on the surgical approach that was used, certain movements may be temporarily restricted to prevent your prosthetic joint from dislocating – these movements will likely include crossing your legs, bending your hips at more than a 90-degree angle, and pointing your feet inward or outward.
You may need help from family or friends during the first few days of your recovery at home. If you do not have help available, talk to your doctor about making suitable alternative arrangements.
What Happens During Rehabilitation?
Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy often starts immediately after hip replacement surgery, and you will continue to see the therapist for several weeks. The aim is to help speed up the healing process, strengthen the muscles surrounding the new joint, and help keep you active while moving in healthy ways, leading to a successful recovery of your hip.
The day after your surgery, your physical therapist will help you with walking and will show you how to use a walker, cane, or crutches correctly. You will be shown how to safely go up and downstairs, and you will be taught gentle exercises to strengthen your hip and improve flexibility.
An occupational therapist will show you how to carry out everyday tasks such as dressing and bathing. They will also give you guidance on how to manage safely at home, such as recommending equipment (a raised toilet seat, shower chair, handlebars) to help you so you don’t fall. Your therapist will remove tripping hazards (such as rugs or things that protrude into the regular walkway) to ensure that you have a clear walking path around your home.
Rehabilitation exercises will increase over time, as you start to heal. You will receive a personalized exercise program to continue following at home in order to recover successfully and reduce the chance of injury.
Resuming Your Regular Lifestyle
Many of your former activities can be resumed following surgery and recovery, but you may have to modify the way you do some of them – such as bending over – in order to protect your new hip. Some activities (such as jogging) may need to be avoided for the rest of your life in order to keep the prosthesis in good working order and not cause injury to your body. Stress on the artificial joint can cause it to wear down faster or become loose; your therapist can discuss which activities are safe for you to do and provide you with a suitable exercise program.
Complete healing can take up to four months, and the success of your surgery will partly depend on how well you follow your post-operative instructions by your doctor and therapists. Hip replacement surgery is extremely successful in a majority of cases, with most patients experiencing a dramatic reduction in hip pain, improved mobility, and a successful return to their previously enjoyed activities and independence.
Hip Replacement Surgery in Boynton Beach
If you have chronic hip pain or are considering hip replacement surgery, talk to the experts at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. Our board-certified surgeons are highly experienced in joint replacement surgery, especially the hip, knee, and shoulder.
If you would like to find out whether you are a candidate for joint replacement or would like to learn more about our orthopedic services, call us today at (561) 733-5888 or use our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you feel great again.