When experiencing hip pain and having difficulty moving about inhibits daily activities, it is time to seek a solution. Initially, pain medications and physical therapy may be effective, but at some point, those treatments may no longer work. Therefore, the decision to see a hip replacement surgeon (aka orthopedic surgeon) is not taken lightly. Joint replacement is an invasive surgery that has a lengthy recovery time, though the benefits are often well worth it. Still, it's essential to know what to expect after the procedure when preparing for hip replacement surgery to expedite the recovery process.
Hip Replacement Surgeon Tips: What to Expect
Control Pain Levels
Discomfort and pain for several days following the surgery is a critical factor to consider. The pain and discomfort are part of the healing process, but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to handle. Take it easy and let the body heal. Pain relievers can help, but the absence of pain doesn't mean the body is healed, so take it slow and steady as the body recovers.
Once the pain and discomfort subside, and even while present, it's important to start walking again. Physical therapy is a significant component of recovery, but it needs to be done safely and slowly. It's also a good idea to make sure the home is clear of obstructions, like small throw rugs. It will take time to walk smoothly again, and missteps can happen. Exercising in thirty-minute sessions, either as part or in addition to physical therapy, will help speed up recovery. Remember to stay safe and watch for possible complications, like continued pain.
Adjust Daily Tasks
It's also important to remember what can and cannot be done immediately following surgery. For example, showering needs to be avoided to keep the incision dry, extensive walking has to wait until the staples are removed, and driving must wait for three to six weeks after surgery. Since showers and regular baths are out, sponge baths are the order of the day. As for driving, alternative accommodations, whether from working at home or a riding service, should be arranged before the surgery.
Since people after hip replacement surgery are less active, it's also a good idea to watch a person's diet. Less activity can lead to weight gain, which can hamper the benefits of the replacement in the first place.
There is a lot to consider before and after hip replacement. The initial few days after surgery will be painful. It will take weeks to walk longer distances and return to normal physical activities. Don't rush the recovery, and the hip replacement will, with time, allow most people to return to an active lifestyle.
If you are having mobility issues or constant hip pain, a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon may be in order. Dr. Dan Albright is an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, NC. A consultation will allow you to consider different treatment plans to alleviate your pain and get you moving again—Call 919-863-6808 for an appointment today.