Hip replacement surgery helps ease pain and restores flexibility. This should make it easier for you to do normal activities, but keep in mind that you might not be able to do them right away. A full recovery from this type of surgery typically takes anywhere from two to six months. You can help the recovery process by doing the following.
Including physical activity in your daily routine helps your hip heal by making it stronger and more flexible. Your doctor can recommend activities that are safe for you to do in the first three- to six weeks after surgery. During this period, you won’t be able to fully move your hip, so your physical activities will be limited. You might also work with a physical therapist on certain exercises that are designed to strengthen your hip.
Once your doctor lets you resume normal activities, you can continue making your hip stronger by doing low-impact activities, such as swimming, riding a bicycle or playing golf. These activities keep your hip active without putting too much stress on it.
Reduce Your Risk of Slipping
Before going in for hip replacement surgery, make a few changes to your home to lower your risk of falling or slipping after surgery. For example:
- Remove area rugs or mats that you might trip on.
- Ask a friend or relative to move your furniture around, so it’s easier for you to walk through your home with a cane or a walker.
- Get a grabbing tool to reach objects without having to stretch or bend far.
- Put a small table next to the chair you’ll be sitting in the most. Keep items you’ll use often, such as your phone or eyeglasses, on this table.
- Place a shower chair in your stall or tub to reduce your risk of slipping.
Help Your Incision Heal
The incision made during hip replacement surgery can become infected without proper care, which can slow your recovery. You can lower this risk by doing the following:
- Make sure the incision area is kept dry and clean.
- Change the dressing on it as often as your doctor recommends.
- Don’t take a shower or bath until your doctor says it’s all right.
- Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, and let your doctor know right away if you have any.
If your doctor recommends hip replacement surgery, talk to our orthopedic surgeons about this procedure. We’ll let you know what to expect, how to prepare for the surgery and what to do afterward to ensure a proper recovery.
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