Achieving A Successful Outcome After Surgery
Having a prosthetic hip is obviously a completely different sensation to keeping your original hip and as a result there may be some new sensations early on after surgery including having areas of numbness, stiffness and new aches and pains… These differences will typically diminish given time and with adherence to your total hip replacement rehabilitation program any difference that remains, will ideally pale in comparison to any issues experienced with your painful arthritic hip prior to surgery.
The success of your hip replacement surgery will in large part depend on how tightly you adhere to your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions and their prescribed post-surgical protocol. Following surgery you will be given guidelines regarding the expectations for your home care, activity levels, home exercises and physical goals during the first few weeks after surgery. As well as this you will be given lifetime guidelines with regard to activity allowances and restrictions and that should be adhered to, these guidelines are in place to extend the life of the prosthesis.
Extending The Life Of Your Surgical Hip Implant
There are measures you can take to protect your total hip replacement and thereby extending the life of the implant. A couple of important guidelines include:
- Attending all your scheduled check ups with your orthopaedic surgeon. These follow-up examinations and x-rays track the progress of the implant and address any potential issues prior to them becoming significant and make sure that everything is going to plan and help target where your energy should be places with regard to your total hip replacement rehabilitation.
- Work to maintaining strength around the hip and trunk as well as maintaining mobility in the hip through participation in regular light exercise. Such strength and mobility will help maintain appropriate support and function of the hip, as well as reduce the risk of falling and other injuries.
Early Post Operative Total Hip Replacement Rehabilitation
With regards to total hip replacement rehabilitation programs appropriate exercise particularly during the first few weeks after surgery is critical in ensuring a good outcome. Typically from day one post-surgery you will be encouraged to stand and walk in full weight bearing with a walking frame. In the coming days and weeks you will be guided and encouraged to carry out graduated walking progressions coupled with a number of specific exercises multiple times a day to assist in restoring both mobility and strength. This will see you slowly increase your mobility and function initially in the hospital, then in around your home and later out and about in the community.
Early focus will be on assisting you develop confidence and control in resuming normal household activities. Activities that are frequently taken for granted such as sitting, standing, climbing stairs… Ideally with adherence to your total hip replacement rehabilitation program you will be able to resume most light activities of daily living around the home within 3-6 weeks post surgery and from there your hip will continue to improve and feel more “normal” over the coming year and beyond.
The Final Part Of Total Hip Replacement Rehabilitation Is A Return To Sport
Remember you need to look after your hip replacement and the goal should be to achieve the longest life from your new joint whilst maintaining a healthy, happy lifestyle . Heavy impact activities including running and jumping for exercise should be avoided as they will shorten the life of the prosthesis. But as previously mentioned in previous hip replacement blogs on this site ultimately once you are given the “all clear” by the surgeon then within reason you would be allowed to engage in all sorts of activities ranging from walking, swimming, hiking, golf, skiing, cycling, doubles tennis, horse riding through to scuba diving…
At Sydney Physio Clinic we love to be involved with our patients total hip replacement rehabilitation and assist in the process helping guide them back to a normal pain free life including their chosen sporting endeavors.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Total Hip Replacement Rehabilitation should consult his or her general practitioner, physiotherapist, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.