Total hip replacement is one of the most common joint replacement surgeries, and for good reason: It relieves chronic pain from arthritis, injury, and other joint conditions, and it dramatically improves patients’ quality of life.
Surgeons in the United States perform more than 450,000 hip replacement procedures each year. But hip replacement is major surgery, and although it offers significant benefits for many people, you should be prepared.
Here’s what you can expect.
Pain is normal following joint replacement surgery. The extent of pain you experience will vary based on your individual circumstances, but you should expect to feel some discomfort for several weeks after surgery.
Starting immediately after surgery, we work with you to manage your pain. In most cases, we prescribe pain medication to help you manage pain and focus on rest, then help you transition to more active recovery in the following weeks.
Joint replacement requires surgical incision, and taking care of your incision site is essential for your recovery. You can expect to have a bandage or dressing over the incision for several days, and you need to keep the area clean and dry.
We give you specific instructions about how to care for your incision. Follow these guidelines carefully to prevent infection, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Recovering from hip replacement takes time, so be prepared for some temporary lifestyle changes during your recovery. You’ll have limited mobility for several weeks, and you may require assistance with daily tasks, like bathing and dressing.
Avoid putting your full weight on your hip for several weeks after surgery. This means that you may need to use crutches, a walker, or a cane to get around. Also, avoid activities that put too much stress on your hip, such as bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects.
Depending on your situation, we give you guidelines on what activities you should avoid and what modifications you may need during recovery.
Physical therapy is one of the most crucial aspects of hip replacement recovery. As your body begins healing from surgery, physical therapy helps you regain strength and mobility in your hip and surrounding muscles.
Your physical therapist works with you to develop an individualized rehabilitation program that includes guided exercises in the office and exercises for you to do at home.
We typically start joint replacement patients in physical therapy shortly after surgery, and you can expect to attend physical therapy sessions several times a week while your hip heals.
Along with physical therapy, you have regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These appointments help us monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your rehabilitation program.
Last but not least, be prepared to practice patience. Recovering from hip replacement surgery is a gradual process. It’s normal to have some emotional ups and downs.
Recovering from major surgery can be challenging, and you may feel frustrated, sad, or anxious at times. To make it easier, we recommend creating a strong support system that includes family, friends, and health care providers to help you through the process.
Our team is here to help you stick to your rehabilitation plan and support you in every way we can. With the right mindset, support, and preparation, your hip replacement can be a successful experience that dramatically improves your quality of life.
Learn more about hip replacement surgery with a consultation at Cascade Orthopaedics in Auburn and Bonney Lake, Washington. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.