The modern-day, minimally invasive surgical techniques are becoming increasingly available for a number of different types of major surgery, including hip replacements. This can make it a safer option than traditional open surgery and can result in a much faster and easier recovery.
If you are considering hip replacement surgery and would like to find out more about what is involved and about the recovery process, talk to your orthopedic surgeon about your options – and read on to find out more.
What to Expect After a Hip Operation
If you are eligible to have outpatient hip replacement surgery, you may be able to go home later that day as long as you have had no adverse reactions or infections. Otherwise, you will need to stay in the hospital for one or more days following the surgery for observation.
You will likely be given a pain medication after the surgery to make you more comfortable. You may also receive a special pillow to keep between your legs to prevent them from crossing while you sleep, for at least six weeks.
While your hip is healing:
- Prevent your legs from crossing while sleeping, sitting, or standing
- Do not sleep with pillows below your knees
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach at all times
- Be sure to move around carefully to avoid blood clots
- Sleep on a firm and supportive mattress
- Do not bend at the hip at more than a 90-degree angle
- Avoid pointing your feet inward and outward (because this action involves the hip)
These movements will be temporarily restricted to prevent your artificial joint from dislocating during your recovery.
You may need help from family or friends during the first few days at home. If you do not have available help nearby, talk to your doctor about making suitable alternative arrangements.
Rehabilitation After a Hip Replacement
Physical therapy usually begins on the day of or the day after your hip surgery. Your physical therapist will help you with walking and will show you how to use a walker, cane, or crutches while standing and walking. Your therapist will be able to show you how to go up and down stairs, how to exercise and strengthen your hip, and how to improve your flexibility and mobility.
An occupational therapist will also be on hand to help you manage safely at home. They will show you how to carry out normal daily activities such as dressing and bathing, and they can also recommend equipment to help you. This can include a raised toilet seat, a shower chair, and handlebars on the bathroom walls to help prevent falling.
It is very important to follow the guidance of your doctors and therapists in order to recover successfully and to reduce the chance of injury. Your therapist may suggest removing potential hazards around the house so you have a clear walking path around your home.
When Can I Return to My Normal Lifestyle?
Many of your former activities can be resumed soon after the hip operation, but you may have to modify the way in which you do some activities, such as bending too far. Some high-intensity activities, such as jogging, will need to be avoided for the rest of your life in order to preserve your new hip.
Stress on the artificial joint can cause it to wear faster or become loose. Your physical therapist can discuss which activities are safe for you to do and will provide you with a suitable exercise program.
Complete healing can take up to 4 months. Hip replacement surgery is highly 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 Surgeons in North Dakota
If you have hip pain or would like to know more about the services and treatment options we provide, contact our team at The Bone & Joint Center today. We have locations across North Dakota and we gladly serve patients in the surrounding states and beyond.
You can call our friendly staff at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!