Lifetime Precautions After Hip Replacement

Lifetime Precautions After Hip Replacement

Lifetime Precautions After Hip Replacement

To some people even the sound of total hip replacement surgery might be intimidating, but in the past years, it has become a relatively common and safe procedure. More than 330,000 adults in the U.S. have the procedure each year, according to Harvard Medical School, and the numbers are rising every year. Like all surgeries, it has its risks, including blood clots, infections, and hip dislocations. If you are in good health and follow the advice of your doctor and physical therapist, the risks of permanent restrictions after hip replacement are low, although certain precautions should be observed. For many people, life after hip replacement means less pain, easier movement, and the ability to maintain a more active lifestyle.

Hip replacement is major surgery, however, and it often takes months to recover completely. If you're considering this procedure, talk to your doctor about your concerns and to find out if you're a good candidate. If you or someone you care for is having hip surgery, it's important to be aware of general hip replacement precautions following the procedure. Keep reading as we discuss the hip replacement recovery process week by week as well as what life is like several months out.

Immediate Life After Hip Replacement

You might be surprised by how quickly patients are encouraged to sit up, move around, and even begin walking after having a hip replaced – often the same day. This is done to help prevent blood clots from forming in the legs, which could be extremely dangerous. Pressure stockings or inflatable sleeves and blood-thinning medication may also be used. You are also likely to work with a physical therapist who can teach you exercises to help you regain your strength and mobility.

Most patients are required to stay in the hospital for a few days after their surgery to ensure there are no serious complications. From there, you will typically be released to your home or to a rehabilitation center if you will need assistance with your recovery.

Hip Replacement Precautions: 6 to 12 Weeks Post-Surgery

You will need help once you return home, at least for the first month or two. Many patients can return to everyday activities after 12 weeks, although this will depend on the individual; for some, it can take six months or more to return to a normal life after hip replacement surgery. Following the instructions of your doctor can help keep your progress on track.

Make sure to follow your physical therapist's guidelines on exercise and movement – in addition to helping you regain strength and mobility in your leg, regular gentle activity can help prevent blood clots. Your physical therapist should provide a list of precautions and let you know what not to do after hip replacement surgery, at least for the first several weeks:

. Don't lift your knee higher than your hip (on the surgery side)

. Don't bend forward more than 90°

. Avoid low chairs or sofas

. Avoid soft seats that cause you to bend forward

. Avoid low toilet seats

. Don't cross your leg or rotate it outward

. Don't twist or pivot your hip

As you can see, hip replacement restrictions can make many everyday tasks, like bending over and reaching for things, more challenging. You may also find it difficult and painful to put weight on your leg at first, and you will likely need crutches or a walker to move around. It's also common to tire quickly, so make sure you have someone who can help you with everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning. Lastly, do not drive until your doctor clears you, usually after about eight weeks.

It's very important that you do not fall or do anything that could potentially damage the healing joint, so be careful and don't take any chances. Many people make modifications to their homes, including adding grab bars in the bathroom, using a raised toilet seat, and taking advantage of devices like reachers, shoe horns, and tools for dressing. When sleeping, rest on the opposite hip or your back and place a pillow between your legs for support.

Life After Hip Replacement: Month 4 and Beyond

After about three months, most patients are given the green light to return to everyday activities, including work – although you may be approved earlier. With your doctor's approval, you should be able to resume participating in sports and other recreational activities, although it's best to stick to low-impact activities like golf, swimming, and bicycling.

You may continue to experience mild swelling, although it should diminish by month four. If the swelling is sudden or severe, contact your doctor immediately as it may indicate a blood clot.

You should continue to gain strength in your hip over time, especially if you continue pursuing a regular, low-impact fitness routine. Life is likely to return to normal, although you'll need to avoid risky activities. Sports such as inline and ice skating, racquetball, baseball, softball, football, and soccer should be typically be avoided since they are high-contact and have a higher risk of falls.

Follow up with your doctor as required; the recommended schedule is four to six weeks after surgery, three to six months after, 12 months after, and each year following.

Lifetime Precautions After Hip Replacement

Every individual is different, so it's difficult to predict if there will be permanent restrictions after hip replacement for any specific person. There are also different types of replacement hips; some have been shown to last longer than others, but there is always a risk that the implant will wear out and need to be replaced. If you have a highly active lifestyle, your implant could wear more quickly. It's also important to avoid repetitive high-impact activities, including sports and heavy lifting, that are more likely to damage the implant. Some hip implants also have a higher risk of dislocation, so you should avoid activities that cause you to aggressively flex your hip joint if advised to do so by your doctor.

If you travel often by air, you should let the security screener know about your hip replacement. This is particularly important if there is metal in your implant that could set off a metal detector. It's also best to avoid air travel immediately following your surgery without your doctor's permission, as the confined seating position and air pressure changes could cause swelling and discomfort.

For most patients, life after hip replacement returns to normal, but with less pain. If you have any concerns, continue to research the procedure and talk to your doctor about the pros and cons based on your own situation.

About Iranian Surgery

Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best orthopedic surgeons in Iran. The price of Hip replacement surgery in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined by an in-person assessment with the doctor.

For more information about the cost of Hip replacement surgery in Iran and to schedule an appointment in advance, you can contact Iranian Surgery consultants via WhatsApp number 0098 901 929 0946. This service is completely free.


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