Hip replacement surgery is commonly performed to relieve a painful hip joint that has begun to impede your everyday life. In this procedure, a surgeon surgery removes the damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial joint comprised of plastic and metal components.
More than 300,000 individuals undergo hip replacement surgery every year, making it one of the most popular elective surgeries in the country. While it should not be the first option to relieve hip pain, around 90 percent of those who have hip replacement surgery are able to get back to the active lifestyle they previously enjoyed.
If you’re noticing symptoms like persistent, chronic hip pain or that your hip is always stiff, making it difficult to complete normal activities like going up a few stairs or bending down to put on your shoes, it may be time to consult a physician. Or, perhaps you have arthritis in your hip that has become bone-on-bone, and without surgery the bones will continue to wear down. If you feel like you’ve exhausted all your other options, such as taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or naproxen, getting cortisone shots, using assistive devices like a cane or even going to regular physical therapy and the pain keeps increasing, it’s possible a total hip replacement could improve your quality of life.
Even after you have consulted with your physician and the decision has been made that hip replacement surgery will be beneficial in your particular situation, it’s normal to have some concerns about the recovery process. However, most individuals can get up out of bed and move around the same day as the procedure. Although you will experience some soreness from the surgery, the chronic pain you experienced should be completely gone.
Remember, the goal of hip replacement surgery is to relieve your daily pain and restore movement that may have become limited in recent months. Learning as much as you can about the recovery period is also key to ensuring your success at getting back to a normal, pain-free life. A few tips for proper hip replacement recovery include:
Take part in a rehabilitation program. Physical therapy will start in the hospital the day after your hip replacement surgery, and you may require a stay in a short-term rehabilitation center for additional therapy before you can safely return home. The rehabilitation program will both strengthen your muscles and keep your blood flowing while also teaching you how to walk with the assistive devices you may need. Before you return home, your surgeon will make sure you can get in and out of bed independently, can move your new joint a bit and are managing your pain properly with the right medication.
Live a healthy lifestyle prior to and post-surgery. Being in optimal health before your total hip replacement will make the recovery process that much easier. Prior to surgery, make the necessary lifestyle adjustments like eating a nutritious diet and exercising 30 minutes a day. Also, try to get the proper amount of sleep every night and eliminate as much stress from your life as you can. Post-surgery, it’s important to maintain this healthy lifestyle, too, so you can ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible and that you’re taking good care of your new and improved hip joint.
Modify your home as needed. Making your home as safe as possible for your recovery is important so you avoid an accident like a fall that could damage your hip. Move low furniture out of high traffic areas, as well as any throw rugs or loose cords. Keep climbing stairs to a minimum by setting up a comfortable space on the same floor as your restroom, with everything you need close by and easy to access. You might also consider adding a shower seat, raised toilet seat, or installing grab bars to make life a little easier post-surgery.
Keep up with your aftercare recommendations. Any instructions your physical therapist provides should be taken seriously. Make sure you’re taking part in outpatient therapy or continuing the recommended exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your mobility. If you notice any pain or general discomfort, mention it to your doctor or physical therapist right away to avoid any complications.
Ensure a successful recovery from a total hip replacement or other elective surgery with high-quality senior rehabilitation from Franciscan Ministries. Our therapists have a special focus on adults age 55 and older, developing custom treatment plans that treat the whole person, not just the condition or illness. For more information about our rehabilitative services, please contact us today.