Any type of surgery can be intimidating and total hip replacement surgery is no exception. But according to WebMD (www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/prepare-hip-replacement), total hip replacement is a safe and common procedure performed in the U.S. around 285,000 times a year. And as with all surgeries, there are a number of things that can be done before, the day of, and after the procedure to aid and speed up healing. WebMD has the following tips for getting ready for the surgery:
- Learn everything possible about the procedure. Know what to expect.
- Write down any questions for your doctor.
- Think about the effect of the surgery and recovery on your work, and arrange for an adequate amount of time off.
- Get into shape; being in good physical condition speeds up the recovery process.
- Meet with a physical therapist and learn some of the recommended exercises beforehand.
- Get comfortable with crutches or a walker.
- Ask about pre-banking blood in case it’s needed.
- Have a plan for your family to help out afterwards. If living alone, line up a friend to help for a couple of weeks or ask about staying in a rehab facility while recovering.
- Set up your home so you can avoid things such as stairs, and you can maneuver with crutches or a walker. Eliminate trip hazards and put things you use regularly (phone, laptop, tv remote, glasses etc.) all in one place.
- Consider purchasing such things as a long handled shoe horn and other devices that minimize reaching.
The Day Of Alina Health Recommends:
- Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight. This could cause a delay or cancellation of the procedure.
- That morning, take any needed medicines with only a small sip of water.
- Shower or bathe as directed by your surgeon.
- Arrive at the hospital 2 hours before your scheduled surgery. Be sure to allow extra time if needed due to any difficulty getting around.
After Surgery Ortho Info Recommends:
- Take all pain control medicines, antibiotics and blood thinners prescribed.
- Meet with your physical therapist, and get up and moving around as soon as possible.
- Keep the wound area clean and dry, follow instructions regarding bathing.
- Notify your doctor of any redness or unusual swelling, a fever over 100.5 degrees, calf or chest pain, or shortness of breath.
- Avoid foods high in vitamin K while on blood thinners (ie broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc.).
- Follow your doctor’s and/or physical therapist’s recommendations in regards to resuming normal day to day activities.
Total hip replacement is a major surgery, and as such can be somewhat frightening. But knowing what to expect and then making the proper preparations can make the recovery a little easier and less scary.