Understanding Hip Replacements: The First Few Months Of Living With A New Hip


If you have recently broken your hip and needed a complete replacement, you will quickly realize the amount of rehabilitation and physical therapy you will need to get back to feeling well again. Hip replacements can cause pain, stiffness, and muscle weakness, with pain typically lasting at least 4-6 weeks after surgery. You will work closely with a physical therapist to determine when you can begin bearing weight with your new hip, and you will be taught how to use devices to assist you while you are healing from your surgery.

The First Week After Surgery

If you live alone and you are not able to return home after surgery right away, you may find that a rehabilitation facility is your best option. You will be getting used to your new hip during the first week, and this is the time when your pain will be the greatest. Small mistakes while your hip begins to heal can set you back, so it's important to listen carefully to the instructions provided by your physical therapist, doctor, and nursing staff who are taking care of you. It is possible that you won't bear any weight at all on your leg during the first week, and you will need to move carefully using a walker or another person in order to transfer positions.

You will learn how to get in and out of bed safely, how to use the bathroom, and how go from your bed to a chair.

As You Heal from Your Hip Surgery

Your hip is a ball and socket joint, and it is a joint that will need to get moving once again in order to avoid stiffness and loss of range of motion. You will begin to bear weight on your leg slowly, starting with just touching your toe down to the floor. Only push yourself as far as your physical therapist suggests, as working too hard can make you hurt yourself further. While you may want to build up your strength quickly, following the routine set by your physical therapist is your fastest way back to health.

Your physical therapist will instruct you in activities you should not be doing with your new hip. You should not bend your hip more than 90 degrees or bend forward more than 90 degrees. You should no longer sit with your legs crossed if possible, and avoid straining your new hip as it heals.

For more information about physical therapy after a surgery, visit Hillcrest Nursing Center or another physical therapist near you.


10 June 2016

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