Your hips are essential for proper movement, but unfortunately several situations can cause hip problems. An orthopaedic specialist, like those at Martin Medical Center, may recommend a hip replacement if you suffer from osteoarthritis, have a hip fracture or injury, or bone tumors. A hip replacement is a major surgery, but with proper care and an effort on your part, you can make a full recovery. Use the following tips to help you recover from your hip replacement:
Be Ready for Activity in the Hospital
Many people think that after a major surgery you have the opportunity to just lie around in a hospital bed, but this is not the case with a hip replacement. After the anesthesia wears off, your doctor will ask you to do a variety of movements to help prevent the formation of blood clots in your veins. Simple exercises will also be prescribed to help ensure that your hip joint heals properly and maintains a wide range of motion.
Put a Full Effort Into Physical Therapy
Your orthopaedic surgeon will likely have you start physical therapy within a few days of being discharged from the hospital. Physical therapy is very important after a hip replacement in order to help the joint heal properly while also regaining a full range of motion. The exercises and activities that your physical therapist has you do during your sessions may be very challenging or uncomfortable, but patients who take physical therapy seriously are likely to recover faster. If your physical therapist recommends exercises at home, make sure that you do them between sessions.
Use a Cane or Walker as Recommended
During the first few weeks after surgery, your doctor may recommend that you use a cane or walker to assist you in walking. Even if you feel like you can bear weight on your replaced hip and walk without any assistance, always use the cane or walker for as long as prescribed by your doctor. Putting too much pressure on your hip after surgery can prevent the joint from healing properly and has the possibility of causing further damage.
Support Your Hips While Sleeping
While you are recovering from your hip replacement, it is best to sleep on your back or on your side. In order to keep your hips from moving while you are sleeping, place an abduction pillow between your legs. If you do not have an abduction pillow, you can maintain the stability of your hips by placing regular pillows in between your knees.