Total hip replacement surgery is undergone to help relieve a painful hip joint. It is usually one of the last options taken, when all other treatments have not provided an adequate amount of pain relief. When undergoing total hip replacement surgery, a surgeon will remove the arthritic and painful hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint. This procedure should make walking easier for the patient and improve his/her overall quality of life.
What Happens After Total Hip Replacement Surgery?
The first few days will be spent in the hospital for monitored rest and the beginning of physical therapy. To keep the new hip joint in place, a wedge-shaped cushion may be provided to place between your legs. Physical therapy sessions will start as soon as the day after a hip replacement surgery and within just days you will be able to walk assisted by a walker or cane. Expect physical therapy to continue for weeks to months following your surgery until you regain full movement in your hip joint.
What Activities Should I Avoid After Total Hip Replacement Surgery?
For anywhere from six to 12 months after hip replacement surgery, pivoting or twisting on the involved leg should be avoided.
Your physical therapist will provide you with techniques and adaptive equipment that will help you follow any of the recommended guidelines and precautions while performing daily activities. Remember, by not following your therapist’s recommendations you could dislocate your newly replaced hip joint and may require another surgery.
Even after your hip joint has healed, certain sports or heavy activity should be avoided. The replacement joint is designed for usual day-to-day activity.
What Can I Do at Home After Total Hip Replacement Surgery?
There are a few simple measures that you can take to make life easier when you return home after hip replacement surgery, including:
- Keep stair climbing to a minimum. Make the necessary arrangements so that you will only have to go up and down the steps once or twice a day.
- Sit in a firm, straight-back chair. Recliners should not be used.
- To help avoid falls, remove all throw rugs and keep floors and rooms clutter free.
- Use an elevated toilet seat. This will help keep you from bending too far at the hips.
- Keep enthusiastic pets away until you have healed completely.
You should ask your doctor before returning to such activities as driving, sexual activity, and exercise.