Postoperative period following a hip replacement
Every year thousands of patients choose hip replacement surgery as an alternative to medical therapy, which often proves to be ineffective. However, many people underestimate the importance of following all the rules and guidelines provided by their doctor, which can sometimes prolong their hospital stay and their recovery process. By following these recommendations, you will be able to improve your condition and get back to regular activities as quickly as possible.
This period usually takes a couple of days. It allows the doctors to see how the recovery process is going and to teach you how to take care of the hip and complete simple actions that may cause discomfort at first.
1. Pain relief. At first, you will experience discomfort and pain, which is a normal state and can be easily managed by the doctor and nurses. Do not hesitate to ask for medication if needed. Your doctor will create a programme designed especially for you according to your tests and results. The treatment plan may include local anaesthetic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids. Opioids should only be taken under your doctor’s supervision. If the pain is not relieved within a couple of days, contact your surgeon. At our clinic doctors are always ready to help, so you can contact us with any questions you may have;
2. Physical activity. The speed of recovery greatly depends on the overall state of your body: some patients may stand or even walk on the day of surgery, while others may require a bit more time. Your physical therapist will teach you how to complete various exercises to restore movement and get back to regular activities;
3. Pneumonia prevention. Shallow breathing is a very common occurrence following surgery due to the medication, anaesthetic and the time spent in bed. You will be given instructions on how to perform various breathing exercises to prevent pneumonia.
Recovery at home
Once you are ready to leave, your doctor will discuss and give instructions regarding how to continue your recovery at home. Make sure you follow all of them carefully and don’t hesitate to call your doctor for more details.
– Site of the surgery. Make sure that the stitches and staples are dry and sealed. You may use a bandage to protect the wound site from clothes or other irritations. The stitches will be removed approximately two weeks following surgery.
– Nutrition. There is no specific diet, but you may experience loss of appetite some time after surgery. Make sure you take supplementary vitamins (most importantly iron) and drink plenty of fluids to aid better and quicker healing.
– Activities. It is the most important part of the healing process and you shouldn’t neglect your therapist’s recommendations. You will be able to get back to normal activities within three to six weeks following surgery. Your programme should contain walking around the house and later -outside. With time, you will be able to do home activities, like sitting or going up and down the stairs. Your therapist will also include several exercises to strengthen the hip and restore movement.
Doctors at our clinics are not only experienced surgeons, but are always willing to assist and answer questions, or help in case of an emergency. By following all the recommendations, taking prescribed medication and having regular check-ups you will be able to recover quickly and get back to your regular activities.