The hip joint is subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. In addition, hip fractures are unfortunately all-to-common. Whether due to injury or arthritis, hip pain can make life difficult. After all, who wants to hurt all the time? Thankfully, there is a wide array of medical resources to treat this pain, including massage, medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy. If conservative measures are not appropriate or do not work to decrease pain, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend Total Hip Replacement surgery.
While a Total Hip Replacement can alleviate hip pain caused by arthritis or injury, getting around at home after surgery is often challenging. A Physical Therapist will continue home treatment so that you can appreciate your new hip joint to the fullest extent. Home health physical therapy comes highly recommended to enhance physical recovery, decrease fall risk, and improve the quality of life for patients after total hip replacement surgery.
What Happens During the Hip Replacement Procedure?
During the procedure, damaged or arthritic bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with a prosthetic hip joint. An incision is made either in the anterior or posterior region of the hip, and specific movement precautions will be required. Depending on the nature and extent of the surgery, weight-bearing onto the hip may also be restricted, which in turn can alter the way we navigate our homes and complete activities of daily living.
What Happens After Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery requires a one-to-two day hospital stay for observation and physical therapy. Two or three physical therapy sessions is usually enough to prepare someone to return home for rest and recovery. Acute pain and swelling at the surgical site should be expected. The surgeon will prescribe oral pain medication, along with the use of an ice pack.
In addition, anterior or posterior hip precautions are required for 4-12 weeks, depending on the surgeon’s recommendation. Anterior or posterior hip precautions reduce the risk of hip dislocation after surgery. In turn, these movement restrictions can limit an individual’s ability to sit in certain chairs, use the toilet, and sleep in certain positions.
What To Expect At Home After Having a Hip Replacement Surgery
A home health physical therapist provides specific treatment to make it easier for people to navigate the home environment safely and independently after total hip replacement surgery. The physical therapist will rehearse movements of standing up and sitting down, going up and down steps and stairs, and getting into and out of the shower or bathtub. In addition, a home health physical therapist can recommend specific durable medical equipment such as shower chairs, raised toilet seats, and bedside commodes.
Specific therapeutic exercises, as well as general exercises, will improve strength and weight bearing tolerance at the hip joint. A home health physical therapist will also arrange the home environment to comply with hip precautions, and enhance comfort and safety.
By the conclusion of home health physical therapy, an individual should feel confident moving around and managing their home. If you are considering hip replacement surgery, be sure to inquire about post-operative physical therapy. You deserve the opportunity to keep moving to your heart’s content.
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