If you have chronic hip problems and you’ve been told that you might benefit from hip surgery, you may be wondering not so much about the surgery itself but about the recovery. After all, the recuperation period after an operation can be what interferes with your life for a number of weeks, so it’s best to understand beforehand what to expect.
Let’s talk about what the recovery process from a hip surgery is like, and who you can talk to in order to find out more about finding lasting relief from your hip pain.
What to Expect Right After Hip Surgery
Within a day of the surgery, you will be encouraged to begin moving around in order to get your blood circulation going. You will be asked to get out of bed, stand up, walk around, and perhaps also walk up and down one or two stairs – all with the help of assistive devices such as a walker or a cane. Pain medication will be prescribed in order to manage the pain.
Your hip surgery may be an outpatient procedure, which means you will likely be able to go home on the same day of the surgery. If your surgery was extensive or if you experienced an infection or a reaction from the surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for one or two days.
Movement Limitations After a Hip Operation
There will be certain limitations to your movement as your body heals from the surgery. The goal is to minimize the risk of dislocation and infection. After a joint replacement surgery, the prosthetic materials will take time to fuse with your natural bone.
Patients are advised to avoid bending over, crossing their legs, compressing the hip region, and bearing weight for a number of weeks after hip surgery. Continue using your assistive device of choice during this time while you heal.
Physical Therapy Exercises
Physical therapy exercises will begin right after hip surgery. Continue performing these exercises at home in order to prevent blood clots from forming and to strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip area. Doing these exercises and stretches will help you to gradually regain your hip strength, function, and range of motion.
When Can You Go Back to Normal?
Once you are able to walk without the help of assistive devices, you may begin to do regular household activities again. Movement is very important during recovery, but the key is to have a gradual increase in activity and not to push yourself too quickly.
Ask your physician about every new activity you wish to engage in. All in all, you can expect to make a full recovery within several months to a year following surgery.