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What You Need to Know About Post-Hip-Replacement Care and Recovery

Recovery from hip replacement surgery looks different for every patient, depending on their health. Identifying the factors that affect your recovery time and the precautions you can take to aid the rehabilitation process can increase your chances of a successful hip replacement recovery.

What You Can Do to Improve Recovery

1)   Healthy Exercise Routine

Work with your physical therapist to figure out light stretches and exercises that will prevent hip stiffness without causing dislocation. Even simple movements like taking a short walk or massaging your thighs and calves can promote blood flow, avoid blood clots, and speed up the healing process.

2)   Pain Management

Consult with your physician to decide on adequate pain relief solutions. Uncontrolled pain can slow down the rehabilitation process and even lead to chronic pain. Apart from medications, you can try:

  • Using a cold compress to reduce inflammation after physical therapy.
  • If the pain continues or worsens, visit your physician immediately.

    3)   Healthy Diet

    It is essential to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids rich in electrolytes. The doctor might also advise you to consume iron and vitamin supplements. It is also wise to avoid alcohol.

    4)   Incision Care

    Managing infections is an integral part of post-surgery care. If the artificial hip gets infected, you might need another surgery. So, keep the incision area clean and dry. Don’t forget to ask your physician for instructions on changing the dressing and keeping the wound area sterile. Notify your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of infection.

    5)   Reorganize Your Home

    From rearranging your furniture, removing throw rugs, and securely fastening electric cords to installing a shower chair and raised toilet seat in the bathroom, make practical modifications to your home and reduce the risk of hip dislocation and other injuries.

    What You Need to Avoid

    Post hip replacement surgery, you need to take certain precautions for the first few months to reduce the risk of hip dislocation.

  • Don’t cross your legs or ankle while sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Avoid sitting in a low chair or bending your hip too far to put on your socks or shoes. Use a long-handled shoehorn instead.
  • After a total hip replacement, avoid rotating your hips inwards and keep your toes straight or rotated outwards.
  • Never use rocking chairs, stools, and sofas. Instead, use firm chairs with straight backs and armrests.
  • Avoid long car rides or other instances where you have to remain seated for long periods. Always make sure to take breaks from sitting at least every two hours.
  • Reduce frequent junk food consumption as weight gain can cause excessive strain on your new hip.
  • Based on your health, surgical approach, and other external factors, these restrictions might not apply to all patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. Consult with your doctor to figure out the best options for you.

     

     

    For more information about hip replacement procedures or to get a clear diagnosis, reach out to Matthew D. Barber, M.D. Simply call or contact us online today for an appointment in Mobile, AL.

     

    While Dr. Barber focuses exclusively on the management of knee and hip problems with a focus on joint replacement procedures, he is proud to be a source of information for patients. He also has several specialist partners at ALABAMA ORTHOPAEDIC CLINIC who are available to treat any orthopedic condition.