Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common types of joint replacement procedures performed in the United States, with experts predicting about 850,000 people per year will have it by 2030. It’s good news: people are living longer, and a new joint means they can continue to enjoy active lifestyles.
At Orthocenter, our skilled and highly trained providers offer hip replacement surgery when it’s the most appropriate treatment available. Our patients, especially those who enjoy regular physical activity, often have questions about when they can return to their favorite sports or fitness endeavors following hip replacement. In this post we describe what you should expect as far as recovery.
Patience is necessary
You’re probably getting a hip replacement so that you can continue to enjoy your life and have less pain. That is the most likely outcome, eventually. First, though, you’ll need to heal and build up strength.
While you’re in the hospital, we’ll help you understand what exercises you need to do to speed up your recovery, and we’ll supply you with thorough at-home care instructions. Once you get home, you may need help for a few days and you’ll likely need some assistive devices such as a grab bar and shower chair.
Everyone is different, and we’ll give you guidelines for when you should move using a cane, walker, or crutches, as well as when you should put weight on the affected hip. Some people can bear their full weight right away and others need time to heal before that.
Throughout each stage of recovery, you’ll have exercises to do. Early on, they’ll be simple, such as pumping your ankles while you lie down, then you’ll move to those that involve more muscles, such as bed-supported knee bends, and eventually, those that target your hip more directly, like standing hip extensions.
One of the most important exercises for recovery is properly walking. You’ll need a walker or crutches at first, and you’ll build toward taking regular walks. Stair climbing is another commonly recommended exercise for recovery.
Normal activity, including regular exercise
It’s very likely that the pain you were experiencing prior to having hip replacement surgery led to having weaker hip muscles, and the procedure itself likely weakened them further. Full recovery usually takes many months because you have to heal and you have to recondition your muscles.
We’re happy to guide you through the process of returning to your normal exercise routine, and we expect that you’ll be amazed at the progress you make. We do recommend regular visits to our office along with physical therapy to help you build up to your new potential slowly.
If you have questions about what else to expect as you recover from hip replacement surgery, schedule an appointment at the Orthocenter office most convenient for you.