Hip replacement surgery can be life changing. It should mean an end to your hip pain and stiffness and should result in an improvement of your mobility. But how can you make sure that you benefit as much as possible from your new hip replacement? Here are a few tips to help you get fit and active following your hip replacement surgery.
The first few hours
Immediately following surgery, you may be able to walk: the medical and nursing staff will encourage you to do so. While walking may be initially uncomfortable it is best to mobilise as soon as possible, to reduce the risk of blood clots and developing infection, although you will also be given prophylactic medication for this. To help you on your way, you will be advised by a physiotherapist on how to strengthen the muscles around your new hip and how to avoid damage from awkward positioning such as bending or lifting heavy weights.
Sometimes it is necessary to go to a rehabilitation or nursing facility after hip replacement surgery, rather than to go straight home. This is nothing to be worried about and just means that you need a bit of extra help before you can begin your home recovery.
The first few days at home
Rehabilitation following hip replacement surgery can take time. In order to maximise your recovery, you will have to put in the hours and the effort. You will be given exercise programmes from your doctor or physiotherapist. These exercises will be designed to improve your strength and mobility. You may require additional support from a cane or walker until your hip is ready to bear your full weight. You may also notice that your walking gait feels different or awkward: this will settle down as your recovery continues.
Usually you will be able to return to non-strenuous daily activities and work within about six weeks of the hip replacement procedure, but everyone is different, so don’t be dismayed if you are not precisely on target with your timetable.
Unusual side effects
Most people recover swiftly from hip replacement surgery. However, if you are not meeting your rehabilitation goals and are having problems such as severe, prolonged pain, swelling or ongoing problems walking, you should speak to your doctor as they may be due to a mechanical issue with your new hip replacement. You should also be aware of any new problems such as chest pain, numbness or shortness of breath, which may indicate a medical or surgical complication of your hip replacement surgery.
The following months
How you look after your new hip will determine how much wear you get from it over time. You will have to learn to avoid strenuous movements that could put your new joint under pressure. Avoiding falls is also key, so take extra care when walking up and down stairs or walking on potentially slippery surfaces. Continuing with regular exercise including strength and balancing training will also be helpful. With care you could enjoy a pain-free hip for up to 20 years.
About Ramsay Health Care
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons, ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your hip replacement. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.
Please contact us for more information.