Hip problems are one of the most difficult and painful things to deal with, as the hips are so central to walking, sitting, bending, and most movement. Total hip replacement can be a great solution to hip pain, but many patients are concerned about total hip replacement recovery. With the replacement of such an important joint, it can be a difficult healing process, but there are ways you can improve it. If you are getting a total hip replacement, recovery can be a bearable and hopefully fast experience.
What is Total Hip Replacement?
A total hip replacement is a surgery which removes part or all of the hip joint, replacing it with medical grade prosthetics. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, which means that those two parts have to fit together perfectly. They normally should never come apart. Over time, the “ball” portion of the joint can become irregular, wear down, get bone spurs, or even break off the main thigh bone. The “socket” part of the joint can lose the padding tissues which cause grinding and pain, or it may become loose or have pieces of bone or other tissues that get caught. These are frustrating and painful issues for any patient. A total hip replacement solves these issues, but it is such an important area that healing can be difficult.
Why Get A Total Hip Replacement?
Most patients who need total hip replacement are in a lot of pain. This can include pain when bending or walking, pain while sleeping or resting, stiffness that limits mobility of the leg or hip, and inadequate pain relief from other sources like medications and physical therapy. A total hip replacement can truly bring a person’s quality of life back in many ways! It is a way for the patient to “reset” their hip joint, and be able to move normally again.
Total Hip Replacement Recovery
The benefits of total hip replacement can be overall amazing, but it can be a difficult recovery. Most patients need to take a break from work and regular activities for about three to six weeks. Hip fractures and problems can happen to people of all ages and activity levels, so at times it can be hard to put your life on hold for the recovery period. There are some great ways to make your recovery easier.
Listen To Your Doctor
One of the best tips of all for total hip replacement recovery is to listen to your doctor’s advice. If you are able to follow their advice for resting, exercises, and keeping the surgical area safe and clean, you will have a much better recovery. Take notes on what your doctor tells you and follow them! When you are vigilant and follow the rules of exertion and movement, you will almost always have the best possible recovery.
Prepare Your Home
Remember post-surgery that you will have a harder time reaching things or getting certain items around your home. Place them in areas you will be able to access. Go around your home and remove items that could be tripping hazards like loose rugs or boxes. Remember that you may not be able to go up or down stairs, so set up a comfortable place to sleep and rest. Check that your walker or other assistive devices are able to work in your home. These may seem easy, but the days before surgery can be busy and distracting. Make the time to ensure your safety during recovery.
Pay Attention To Your Symptoms
Another important part of the recovery process is to pay attention to your body. If you are feeling irregular pain, if you are struggling, or if you aren’t healing like you should, you may need to check with your doctor. Listen to your symptoms! Stay informed about what to look for, and stay aware of the changes in your body.
Recovery and You
Total hip replacement recovery is daunting, and many patients want to know that they will be taken care of. Our team of doctors is ready to help care for you, and help you no matter what may come up. Recovery can be bearable and worth it, especially for hip problems and pain. Recovery may be hard work, but you can truly reap the benefits of it! Many patients feel almost pain-free long term after a hip replacement, and almost all patients find relief of symptoms and many more years of activity and enjoyment. Finding the right doctor for you is so key to the recovery process, and we are ready to help you in yours.