Hip Replacement Recovery: Tips from Doctors and Patients

Hip Replacement Recovery

Surgery is a major part of the treatment, but the recovery also plays a very important role in determining the success of the entire procedure. Hip replacement surgery is a now considered a common orthopedic surgery, in which the damaged or diseased hip is replaced with artificial implants. The patient is usually discharged from the hospital in one or two days as Hip Replacement Recovery goes fast, especially with minimally invasive procedures.

They need to follow the post-surgery instructions and rehabilitation program with outpatient physiotherapy. The recovery period after an orthopedic surgery is usually a multi-step process that determines the long-term health and mobility of the operated part.

Hip Replacement Recovery

This includes exercise routine, maintaining a healthy body weight and having a balanced diet, as well as taking prescribed medicines and precautions. It also involves steps to prevent blood clots and preparing the home to facilitate rest and reduced need for mobility. These all contribute to a successful recovery after a hip replacement surgery.

Total hip replacement surgery has a high success rate and the improved quality of implants as well as safety of hip replacement procedures has increased this rate dramatically. The success of the surgery is determined by the improvement in mobility and symptoms such as pain, after the recovery process.

The doctors and specialists at the best orthopedic institutes use the latest methods and equipment for advanced procedures such as minimally invasive or robotic total hip replacement recovery. Hip replacement operation cost has also become more affordable, and the advance techniques help cut down the expenses related to hospital stay. Before the surgery, they discuss the risks and post-operative restrictions with the patient and guide them through every step of the recovery process.

However, it is important to understand recovery is an individualized process, and may vary from person to person. For some, it may take longer depending on their age, overall health and other factors. 

Some patients are recommended to have physical therapy in a rehab facility for a few days or weeks. This is to strengthen the muscles and help them return to normal life at home. The therapist will guide the patient through a series of exercises and movements to increase their muscle strength.

For most patients, the hospital stay may range from one to three nights. In a daycare or outpatient hip replacement surgery, the patient can safely return to home straight from the hospital after the hip replacement. But this is an option for some patients only. 

After going home, the patient can walk around with assistive devices, such as a walker or cane, during the recovery. A majority of people need a walker for only a couple of days and then gradually start using a cane for the next couple of weeks. Usually, patients start to walk without assistive devices at four to six weeks. 

Here are some things a hip replacement patient can do to improve the recovery

Follow an exercise routine: Movement might be limited in the first days and week, even though most hip replacement patients are made to stand and walk within the same day or next day after the surgery. They gradually gain muscle strength and can resume normal routine activities within 3 to 6 weeks after their total hip replacement surgery.

The patients are advised to engage in light activities and incorporate healthy exercise into their recovery programs. This includes walking and light household activities such as sitting, and climbing stairs. After full recovery, they may include more intense activities, but only after the approval of the doctor. 

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Good diet and healthy weight: These are two other important aspects of the recovery. Excess weight can put pressure on the new hip prosthesis and increase the risk of complications such as wear and tear, as well as dislocation of the joint. Maintaining a healthy body weight before and after the surgery is crucial to its success as it helps improve the recovery process and also lengthen the lifespan of the prosthesis. Maintaining a balanced diet during recovery will also help keep the weight in check.

Promote blood flow and prevent blood clots: There are certain exercises that help promote blood flow and prevent clotting. These may include movements such as:

  • Regularly squeezing the muscles of thigh and calf.
  • Motion exercises for the legs to ensure full range of leg motions
  • Walking with or without the assistance of supportive devices such as walker or cane

Prepare the household according to the need

As the mobility and ability to accomplish normal tasks will be limited in the first few days following the surgery, the patients are advised to make necessary household preparations. They can plan ahead and make practical modifications to the house before the surgery.

This includes placing and arranging the things so that they are more accessible without excess movement. Also, hiring a full-time nurse or caretaker, plans with friends and family to ensure that someone is available to help with tasks such as bathing, and help with errands such as cooking.