A hip replacement is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the damaged hip joint structure and then replacing it with artificial ones. Generally, such a technique is used to treat and manage the symptoms of most hip conditions, such as osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
Orthopedic surgeons typically recommend hip replacement surgery when the patient experiences the following:
- A hip pain that becomes worse over time and does not get better with conservative treatment options. This includes medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections.
- A hip pain that drastically impairs mobility and one’s ability to perform daily living activities.
- Painful hips even when resting.
Doctors have been performing hip replacement surgeries since the 1960s. According to studies, this particular procedure has a 90% to 95% success rate and can last up to 15 years or longer. Furthermore, statistics revealed that 90% of patients who undergo hip replacement surgery experience significant improvement in hip pain and function.
However, the success rate of hip replacement surgery may also depend on other factors. This includes the post-op care, rehabilitation process, and the lifetime precautions that a patient needs to observe.
Post-operative hip replacement tips and precautions
Reduced pain and enhanced hip function are just two of the numerous benefits that come with hip replacement. Patients who have undergone the procedure enjoy years of restored independence and improved quality of life.
However, individuals should still be wary and take the necessary precautions to protect their new hip joint. Hip replacements are known to last for at least 15 years or more—but only if a patient takes good care of their hips, thus avoiding injuries or dislocation episodes.
Follow post-surgical recovery instructions
Generally, hip replacement procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, which means you’ll be able to go home the same day of your surgery. The healing period usually takes at least 4 to 12 weeks, provided that you follow these post-op instructions diligently:
- Observe proper wound and incision care to avoid infection.
- Take the proper medications needed to reduce pain and swelling. You may also do the RICE therapy to significantly reduce inflammation.
- Follow your doctor’s orders regarding the use of assistive devices, such as a walker, cane, or crutches.
- The first few days should be spent resting and immobilizing the hips to let them heal. So make sure to prepare your home and make it a conducive place for recovery. Some tips to remember include arranging for a convenient sleeping location, decluttering to remove fall hazards, and rearranging frequently used items for easy access.
- Regularly attend your physiotherapy sessions and do your at-home rehabilitative exercises.
- Your doctor will recommend you take a week or two off of work and avoid doing activities for the first few days. This may include working, driving, full weight bearing, exercises, air travel, and sports.
Your surgeon will let you know what kind of activities you’re allowed to do after a specific amount of time. The progress of your recovery will depend on how you’ll care for your new hips during their healing stage.
Attend doctors’ appointments regularly
One of the best ways to protect your hip replacement is to consistently follow up with your orthopedic doctor. Immediately after the procedure, you’ll be required to check in with your physician every week or two for a wound check and hip evaluation.
After that, checkups may happen every three to six weeks and then once every year. A year or two after the hip replacement surgery, your physician may ask you to visit them every two to five years.
No matter how well your new hip responds to your body, periodic visits with your physician should be a lifetime responsibility.
Avoid high-impact exercises
Right after your surgery, it is vital to undergo rehabilitation wherein you’ll perform different sets of exercises that can help strengthen the hips and body. Your physiotherapist will recommend you join these therapy sessions for at least two months after the procedure.
As months or years go by, your doctor will give you the go-signal on what kind of exercises you may do without risking reinjury or dislocation. Some examples include walking, stationary bike, swimming, and golfing.
However, high-impact and repetitive exercises are mostly discouraged by physicians. Highly physical sports (e.g., rugby, basketball, and football) tend to increase one’s vulnerability to falling accidents and direct blows, thus compromising their new hips.
Even if you have already healed from the procedure for years, there’s still a chance that artificial hips may give out or suffer from dislocation after a traumatic accident.
Take note of movement and activity restrictions
Indeed, you can now do a lot of activities once you are fully healed from your hip replacement surgery. However, there are also lifetime precautions and activity restrictions that you should obey to ensure the success of your new hips. This includes the following:
- Avoid twisting movements, such as sudden pivots or crossing your leg.
- Avoid sitting in low chairs or cars with such an interior because this can put too much weight or stress on the new hips.
- Avoid rotating your feet too much or walking with your toes turned in or out.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for too long. Make sure to stretch out your legs and hips every 30 to 40 minutes.
Obey long-term care tips
Taking care of your new hip joint is a lifelong process, no matter how healed or recovered you think you may be. There’s still a chance for your prosthetic hips to get damaged or suffer from an injury, especially if you’re not careful.
Besides the above-mentioned lifetime precautions, you should also practice these self-care tips to ensure the integrity of your new hips.
- Engage in safe and low-impact exercises regularly. These activities allow the hips and surrounding muscles to maintain their strength.
- Use the proper equipment and assistive devices if need be.
- Treat pain or any discomfort.
- Make sure to keep your house a safe place by eliminating falls and slipping hazards.
- Ask for help if needed, may it be with your doctor or family members.
Where to find the best orthopedic doctors in Spring Hill, FL
Tarabishy Orthopedics is the leading provider of hip replacement surgery in the Spring Hill area. As a board-certified orthopedic specialist, he provides top-of-the-line medical care through advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment. He specializes in treating various orthopedic conditions and has been doing so for almost 30 years.
Besides hip replacement, our orthopedic doctor located in Brooksville, offers a wide range of treatment services to cater to your orthopedic problems. This includes the following:
- Knee replacement
- Total joint replacement
- Carpal tunnel release
- Trigger finger release
- Shoulder arthroscopy
- Mako robotic surgery
- And more
To schedule an appointment, please Contact us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.