What to expect and how to adapt during recovery
Total hip replacement is a major surgery and one of the most rewarding surgeries. After your hip replacement, you must know what to expect from your joint and what changes you need to bring for recovery. Following your doctor’s advice, maintaining your exercise routine, eating healthy diet, and watching for any sign of infection. Every individual is different so recovery part and time may also differ in different patients.
With advancements of techniques and pain medicines, patient can walk after hip replacement on the same day of surgery with support. You may be advised pillow between the legs and knee brace initially and continue for one month. Your hip strengthening exercises are started at this time.
1-2 days after surgery
Patient is able to go to the washroom with help of support and can walk with support independently.
3-14 days after surgery
This is an important time when the patient can walk with support inside the house and continue the exercises. Also patient must look for any sign of infection like redness, excessive swelling or pain, high grade fever with chill. It’s important to avoid using any lotions or creams near the incision and you must keep it completely dry. It’s common for the area around the incision to be slightly bruised and to feel an itchy or slight burning sensation. At 2 weeks, visit your doctor for staples removal. After 48 hours, you can take your shower.
2-6 weeks after surgery
During this period you may do light activities and also walk without support. Stair climbing is allowed after 4 weeks and driving after 6 weeks.
10 weeks – one year
Most patients are able to do routine daily activities during this period. Generally, the pain goes during this period. Patient is walking without support and follows hip strengthening exercises. He/She can travel during this period. Also, a patient can resume sexual activities after consultation with doctor.
After 1 year of surgery
Your doctor may call you for a follow-up visit at 1 year year of surgery to get check X-rays. Subsequently, you are required early follow follow ups and X-rays. Generally the implants last more than 20 years now a days, but you must take care for any loosening or infection. Any new pain arising in the Hip or symptoms of infections will require follow up with your doctor.
If you’re undergoing a hip replacement in the near future, be sure to prepare yourself for the recovery period and keep these helpful tips in mind.