A total hip replacement is performed when a person’s natural hip joint has deteriorated or become damaged beyond natural repair. A hip replacement entails removing damaged parts of the hip joint and replacing them with artificial pieces called prosthetics. A total hip replacement is a significant surgery that requires some time to heal. While each patient’s recovery is a little different, you can expect to be in recovery for a few months following a total hip replacement.
First Week Post-Surgery
Following your surgery, you may be required to stay at the hospital for a few days before you are healthy enough to go home. At this time, you will start moving and walking with the help of a walker or crutches. An occupational or physical therapist will guide you on how you can move around without having to experience too much pain in your body.
Moving quickly after your surgery is crucial in the healing process. While you may feel significant pain immediately following your surgery, your doctor and nurses will give you medication to control pain symptoms and guide you on how to move around without harming yourself.
When the doctor sees no complication from your surgery, you will get the authorization for your discharge. You will get instructions on rehabilitation or physical therapy when you leave the hospital. You will need assistance from a family member or friend during the first few days following your procedure. This will include assistance to and from the bathroom, getting in and out of bed, preparing meals, changing clothes, and driving you to your appointments.
After a few weeks of recovery, your hip will have healed enough for you to begin rehabilitation. Once your doctor gives you the all clear, you will begin strengthening and flexibility exercises with the help of a physical or occupational therapist.
Your rehabilitation can take a few months. You should expect to be see a physical therapist for several weeks following your hip replacement and can expect to be doing strengthening and flexibility exercises for several months.
At this stage of the recovery process, you can most likely perform light activities. These include doing light chores around the house, going out for walks, and working (in a seated position). Despite this, you may still feel soreness or discomfort, especially after extended periods of doing an activity.
Exactly How Long Will Recovery Take?
There are several factors that can influence your recovery. Examples include your age, occupation, other health conditions, overall health, any complications with your procedure, and your body’s recovery speed. Depending on how well your recover and regain strength and mobility in your hip, you may be able to return to work several weeks after your surgery. Speak with your surgeon about your recovery period and how long you should expect to be off from work after your procedure.
Fortunately, there are ways to perform total hip replacement that reduce your recovery time. They include anterior approach hip replacement and minimally invasive hip replacement. These procedures require less incisions and trauma to the healthy tissue in your hip. Individuals who get hip replacement through these procedures generally experience less pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recoveries. Speak with your surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for one of these procedures.
Total Hip Replacement in Maryland
The experts at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland perform all types of surgeries, including total hip replacements. Our doctors and specialists use the best surgical techniques, advanced rehabilitation tools, and pain management therapies to provide you with effective results with the least amount of pain and downtime. To make an appointment, call (410) 644-1880 or schedule an appointment now.