Texas Joint Institute - September 19, 2023

Getting a hip replacement surgery requires a lot of preparation beforehand, and the surgery itself isn’t exactly a walk in the park. But, a lot of individuals go through the surgery because of how it significantly improves the quality of their lives.

Now that you’re done with your hip replacement, what’s next? There are a lot of important things to keep in mind so that your recovery period is a successful one.

What happens after hip replacement surgery?

Waking up from an operation

Immediately after hip replacement surgery, you will find yourself in the recovery room, gradually emerging from anesthesia. Medical professionals will monitor your vital signs closely and ensure you’re stable before transferring you to a hospital room.

First few hours after hip replacement

During the initial hours following surgery, you might experience some discomfort as the effects of anesthesia wear off. Nurses and physical therapists will be administering pain management techniques and the proper medication so that you’re comfortable throughout your recovery period. They’ll also assist you in moving and shifting positions to prevent stiffness and promote circulation.

Discharge from hospital

Most patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days after hip replacement surgery. Your medical team will closely monitor your progress, including wound healing, pain levels and mobility. Once you meet specific criteria, such as being able to walk short distances with assistance and demonstrating safe movement techniques, you will be cleared for discharge.

15 days after surgery

Around the two-week mark, you will likely have a follow-up appointment with your orthopedic surgeon. During this visit, the surgical site will be examined, stitches or staples may be removed, and your overall progress will be assessed. This visit is also an opportunity for you to speak up about certain concerns or questions you may have.

Rehab after hip replacement

Physical therapy and rehabilitation play a crucial role in regaining strength, mobility, and functionality after hip replacement surgery. Your healthcare team will work with you to develop a customized rehabilitation plan tailored to your individual needs and progress.

Put on your walking shoes

Gradually transitioning from using assistive devices like crutches or a walker to walking unaided is a significant achievement. Your physical therapist will guide you through exercises and techniques to improve your balance and stability. It's important for you to follow their recommendations and take them one step at a time.

Limitations after hip replacement

Hip replacement surgery offers a lot of benefits to the individual needing it. However, there are going to be limitations and precautions to be aware of during the recovery process.

Don’t cross your operated leg over the other one

Crossing your legs at the knees or ankles can place unnecessary stress on the replaced hip joint. Avoid this movement to prevent dislocation and maintain the longevity of the implant.

Avoid bending your hip past 90 degrees

Bending your hip beyond a 90-degree angle should be avoided, especially during the early stages of recovery. This limitation helps prevent strain on the healing tissues and ensures the stability of the new joint.

Keep your toes straight while walking

Maintaining proper alignment during walking is essential. Make an effort to keep your toes pointing forward and avoid turning your operated leg inward or outward excessively.

Avoid running too fast

High-impact activities like running can potentially disrupt the implant or lead to complications. While some individuals may be able to engage in low-impact jogging with their surgeon's approval, it's crucial to approach such activities with caution.

Exercises after hip replacement

Regular exercises prescribed by your physical therapist are vital for restoring strength and flexibility to the hip joint. Here are some recommended exercises you should do after your hip replacement surgery.

Heel slides

This exercise involves gently bending and straightening your operated leg while lying down. Doing heel slides promotes a good range of motion and flexibility in the hip joint.

Thigh squeezes

Thigh squeezes involve gently contracting your thigh muscles while lying down. This helps improve muscle strength and circulation in the leg.

Ankle pumps

Ankle pumps involve flexing and extending your ankles while lying down. This simple exercise helps prevent blood clots and maintains ankle mobility.

Gluteal sets

Gluteal sets involve squeezing your buttock muscles together while lying down. This exercise helps stabilize the hip joint and improve overall hip function. It’s recommended to consult your physical therapist for more exercises and guidance.

Walking unaided after hip replacement

Walking unaided is a significant achievement that signifies your progress in recovery. Don’t worry; we won’t let you walk alone immediately. You’ll partner with your physical therapist to improve your walking technique, stride, and balance, allowing you to regain independence and mobility.

Pain after hip replacement

Pain is a common concern after hip replacement surgery. While discomfort is expected during the early stages of recovery, persistent or severe pain could indicate complications such as nerve or muscle damage, infection, or implant failure. It's important for you to communicate openly with your medical team when it comes to your pain levels and, if needed, seek immediate medical attention.

Swelling after a hip replacement surgery

Swelling is a natural response to surgery and trauma. To manage swelling, elevate your legs when resting, apply ice packs as recommended by your medical team, and follow any prescribed medications.

Frequently asked questions

What exercises should be avoided after hip replacement?

High-impact activities such as running, jumping, and contact sports should generally be avoided. Always consult your surgeon before engaging in new exercises.

Can you run after hip replacement?

With your surgeon's approval, some individuals may be able to engage in light jogging or low-impact running. However, high-impact running is usually discouraged due to the stress it places on the hip joint.

What are some of the lifetime precautions after hip replacement?

You need to consider that there are some lifetime precautions you have to follow after hip replacement for it to be a successful one. These precautions include avoiding extreme movements, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active without overexerting yourself.

What Is normal pain after hip replacement surgery?

Mild to moderate pain is expected in the early stages of recovery. However, persistent or severe pain should be addressed with your medical team.

What causes thigh and knee Pain After hip replacement?

Thigh and knee pain after hip replacement can result from muscle imbalances, improper gait, or nerve irritation. Physical therapy can help address these issues.

When can you have sex after hip replacement?

Most surgeons recommend waiting until you have regained sufficient mobility and comfort, typically around 6-8 weeks post-surgery. It’s always best to consult your surgeon for personalized advice.

Keep in mind that when you follow medical advice, adhere to precautions, engage in the appropriate exercises, and maintain open communication, you can expect an improved quality of life and increased mobility. Remember, every individual's recovery is unique, so be patient and celebrate each milestone along the way.

Life after hip replacement is great with Texas Joint Institute

To sum it all up, your life after hip replacement surgery is a journey that involves various stages of recovery, rehabilitation and adaptation.

Worried about the recovery process after your hip replacement? Our amazing team at Texas Joint Institute will be there with you every step of the way. We’ll make sure you get the most effective pain management and recovery techniques suited to your situation while remaining comfortable all throughout!

Send us an inquiry today or call us to get an accurate consultation on your diagnosis!

tags: hip