If you’re experiencing daily hip pain from arthritis or an injury, hip replacement surgery can significantly improve your quality of life. Around 90 percent of those who have hip surgery enjoy better mobility and less pain or stiffness. Plus, they’re able to get back to partaking in activities they may have been missing out on due to their chronic pain. More than 300,000 people undergo hip replacement surgery every year, making total hip replacement surgery one of the most commonly-performed elective surgeries in the United States.
While hip replacement surgery shouldn’t be your first option if you’re wondering if it could help improve your lifestyle, talk to your physician to discuss your individual situation.
Hip replacement surgery involves the removal of the damaged parts of the joint and replacing them with new, artificial parts. These artificial joints are known as prostheses, and they’re composed of metal, plastic, ceramic or a combination of each. The goal of the surgery is to both relieve the pain that has begun to interfere with daily life and restore movement that may have become limited in the months leading up to the decision to have a hip replacement.
Learning as much as you can about the recovery process is key to ensuring your success following surgery. A few tips for the most effective hip replacement recovery include:
Live a healthy lifestyle before surgery. If your body is in optimal shape before your hip replacement surgery, your recovery will be easier and faster. So, try to get 30 minutes of exercise every day — there are plenty of exercises for seniors of all ability levels to enjoy, from swimming to chair exercises. Eat a well-balanced diet, get restful sleep nightly, and try to eliminate stress from your life.
Stay involved in your rehabilitation program. The initial pain and discomfort you feel following your hip replacement surgery should start to ease up in just a few days — in fact, many individuals are encouraged to get up and walk the same day as their surgery! Physical therapy will start in the hospital the day after your surgery, and some people require a stay in a rehabilitation center for additional therapy before returning home. Throughout your rehabilitation program, you will learn how to walk with assistive devices and will perform exercises that will strengthen muscles and keep the blood flowing. Before the doctor allows you to go home, you should be able to get in and out of bed by yourself, walk with assistive devices like crutches or a walker, move your new joint at a bit, and be able to properly manage your pain with medication.
Make safe home modifications. When you do return home, you will want to make sure your living conditions are as safe as possible. For example, it’s recommended to remove throw rugs, exposed cords or wires, and low furniture to avoid a fall that could damage your new joint. Other home safety features that will also make life easier include adding a shower chair, grab bars or a raised toilet seat to the bathroom.
Follow your instructions for aftercare. In the weeks following your hip replacement surgery, it’s vital that you keep up on your outpatient therapy and the instructions provided by your physical therapist. The exercises the therapist recommends will help continue to strengthen your muscles and improve your mobility. If you experience any pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or physical therapist.
Our mission is your recovery at Advent Christian Village, where our professional team is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our patients. Experience excellence in both short and long-term rehabilitation at ACV Outpatient Services, with inpatient and outpatient services at Good Samaritan Center and Copeland Medical Center. Contact us to schedule a tour or to request more information.