Hip replacement surgery can be highly effective in improving mobility and alleviating pain. However, the recovery process requires commitment from the patient. Patients who work hard to recover experience the best outcome. With physical therapy hip replacement surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Your Hospital Stay
Your doctor will decide how long you need to stay in the hospital based on your medical history and the complexity of your surgery. During your time in the hospital, your doctor will work to prevent blood clots from forming, to control your pain, and support properly healing of the joint and incision. You will likely receive physical therapy almost immediately after surgery to keep the joint limber and prevent the development of scar tissue.
After The Hospital
Whether you go immediately home or to a post acute care facility, you will be placed on restrictions. Your doctor will let you know how much weight you may bear on the affected leg as well as which mobility devices should be used to limit weight-bearing. You will use crutches, a cane, or a walker in the days and weeks following your surgery. These restrictions are designed to protect the joint and allow the bone time to grow.
You will also need routine physical therapy in the weeks following your hip replacement surgery. Physical therapy is typically done with the therapist two to three times weekly and at home two to three times daily. Completing your exercises at home is critical for your success.
Finally, you will be provided with medications for management of pain and inflammation following surgery. It is often advised to take your medications 30-60 minutes before you do your physical therapy exercises to manage pain.
Your Long Term Recovery
Patients who follow their physical therapy regimens often experience a positive recovery and are pleased with their new mobility and relief. However, you must take some precautions long-term:
- seek medical attention for minor cuts and scrapes to prevent infection
- you may need to take antibiotics before procedures and dental work to prevent infection from settling into the hip joint
- you should not run, play basketball, or go downhill skiing with an artificial hip
To learn more about what to expect, physical therapy, hip replacement, or recovery, contact us at Santé. We are here for you because we care.