It might take between six months to one year to completely recover after a knee replacement surgery. The doctor will provide aftercare instructions that you should follow to prevent complications and increase the chances of success. The aftercare includes checkup appointments, caring for the wound, and activity restrictions.Patients will need to visit the surgeon at…
A Guide to Hip Replacement Recovery
Hip replacement surgery, called arthroplasty, is a procedure to replace damaged hip joints with an artificial joint. The procedure is often necessary to relieve pain resulting from arthritis and other hip injuries and restore normal motion range in the joints. In this article, you will learn about the steps and precautions to take to ensure a successful recovery.
Guidelines for hip replacement recovery
For home recovery, patients need to install safety and accessibility measures to avoid falls and make life easier. These measures include:
- Fix safety bars to the shower and toilet
- Use reachers for items instead of bending over
- Connect a shower hose or get a handled sponge for bathing.
- Wear flat or low-heeled shoes
- Use handrails when using the stairs (use only stable railings)
- Remove wires and other items that could cause tripping
- Remove throw rugs and small objects
- Stay off ice and snow
After leaving the hospital
It will not be easy initially to perform routine tasks like cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Therefore, it is better to have someone to help around the house. Those without a support system may need to check into a rehabilitation center after leaving the hospital. Patients will undergo supervised physical therapy until they are fit enough to walk around safely without help.
Patients need to keep up with the exercises recommended by the physical therapist. This is important to strengthen the new joint, improve flexibility, and accelerate recovery. In some cases, patients can have a physical therapist or a visiting nurse come in to aid the recovery process and monitor their progress.
It is better to avoid sleeping over the stomach or on the new hip in the first few weeks of recovery. Patients will feel more comfortable by sleeping on their back and putting a pillow between their knees.
Recovery in the first three months
In the first few weeks after surgery, the goal will be to manage any swelling and to walk. Patients need to perform the recommended exercises and move around the house as their bodies will allow. At other times, the leg should be iced and elevated.
It is important to rest adequately since hip replacement surgery is a major procedure. After confirming with the healthcare team, patients can start to perform exercises on their feet instead of lying down. Regular appointments for physical therapy is crucial at this point. The physical therapist will show correct ways to stretch and perform certain exercises. After surgery, it is normal to feel pain and stiffness, so staying mobile is important for relief.
Following a checkup with the surgeon after six weeks, patients may have reached the point where they can start low-impact activities. Running and jumping is not advisable, so it is better to ease in gradually. Hiking, swimming, gardening, and other leisure activities are possible. Finding an enjoyable activity that forms a part of a daily routine can be helpful. Patients can ask their therapist for suggestions.
Recovery after hip replacement requires patience and consistency. The best outcome comes from being prepared and following the doctor’s instructions.
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