In large part, the pace and quality of your recovery post a total hip replacement is down to how well you follow the advice given by your surgeon. The first weeks after an operation are crucial to the success of your recovery and the advice you are given should be followed.
Sometimes feeling well can put you in a state of mind where you are less likely to be cautious. This can lead to unnecessary accidents and setbacks, but equally, being too cautious can limit the return of your flexibility and your capacity for activity overall. Provided you are not taking risks the exercises should be done routinely even if you are feeling a little unwell.
There are many aspects to your homecare regimen. The first concern of hip replacement recovery is taking care of the healing process of the incision site. Usually, at around two weeks the stitches or staples will be removed. During this first fortnight, it is very important to keep the area dry at all times. Special waterproof patches can be bought, partners or relatives can help, or you can organise general homecare assistance.
Some people overlook that during their hip replacement recovery they might experience a loss of appetite. This reaction can last several weeks into the recovery process and if not countered can contribute to poorer recovery rates. The main reason is that a good diet promotes the healing process and will restore muscle strength. Often the loss of muscle strength is a contributing factor to any unwillingness to perform the necessary exercises crucial to regaining mobility. Iron supplements are also recommended.
The exercises you are assigned to do during your hip replacement recovery are particularly important. For the first few weeks post surgery, the care and regularity of your exercises will contribute to its overall success.
Normally, patients will have a customised exercise routine recommended by their doctor, but some of the more common exercises are:
- A graduated walking program to slowly increase mobility
- Slowly taking on normal household activities; like sitting, standing, and climbing stairs
- Tailored exercises several times a day.
These exercises restore movement and strengthen your hip. A lot of people opt for the services of a physical therapist. They can assist you at home for the first few weeks after surgery, or there is also the option of choosing the services of a therapy center instead. In fact, the role of rehabilitation centers in a patients hip replacement recovery can be instrumental, in the rate of recovery and the patients proper understanding of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the recovery process.
The standard resumption of light daily duties usually takes anywhere in between 3-6 weeks, with the possibility of discomfort during activity and at night.