After a hip replacement, you may anticipate your lifestyle to be similar to what it was before the procedure—but without the pain. In many respects, you are correct, but it will take time to return to your normal routine. Being a proactive participant in your recovery can help you get there faster and with a better outcome.
Although you will be able to continue most activities, you may need to alter your approach. For example, you may need to learn new bending techniques to protect your new hip. The tips you'll discover here will help you appreciate your new hip while safely resuming your everyday activities.
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Discharge from the hospital
Depending on how quickly you heal, your hospital stay will be anywhere from one to four days. If your hip replacement is performed as an outpatient procedure, you will be able to return home the same day.
You must complete various objectives before being released from the hospital, including:
- Getting into and out of bed without assistance.
- Having adequate pain management.
- The ability to eat, drink, and use the restroom.
- Walking on a level surface with an assistance device (a cane, walker, or crutches) and climbing up and down two or three steps.
- Being able to do the workouts at home as directed.
- To avoid injury and ensure proper healing, be aware of any hip precautions you may have been given.
If you have not yet achieved these objectives, it may be risky for you to return home following discharge. If this is the case, you may be moved to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility for some time.
Your healthcare team will give you information to help you recuperate at home once you've been released. Although total hip replacement problems are uncommon, when they do arise, they can delay or restrict full recovery. The hospital personnel will go through any potential problems with you, as well as the indications of an infection or a blood clot.
Infection Warning Signs
- Fever that does not go away (higher than 100 degrees)
- Chills shivering
- Your wound is becoming more red, painful, or swollen.
- Your wound's drainage
- Pain gets worse with both exercise and relaxation.
Blood Clot Signs and Symptoms
- Unrelated to your incision, pain in your thigh or calf
- Tenderness or redness on the outside or inside of your knee
- Swelling in your thigh, calf, ankle, or foot that is severe
A blood clot that travels to your lungs and becomes life-threatening is extremely unusual. The following are signs that a blood clot has made its way to your lungs:
- Breathing problems
- Chest discomfort that appears out of nowhere
- Coughing and localized chest discomfort
- If you see any of the aforementioned symptoms, contact your doctor right once.
Protecting Your New Hip: Dos and Don'ts
Precautions (does and don'ts) differ based on your doctor's surgical method and preferences. Your doctor and physical therapist will give you a list of things to remember while you adjust to your new hip. These measures will aid in the healing of the new joint and prevent it from dislocating. The following are some of the most frequent safety precautions. If you're not sure if these warnings apply to you, talk to your doctor.
Dos and Don'ts
- For at least 6 to 8 weeks, don't cross your legs at the knees.
- Make sure your knee isn't higher than your hip.
- Leaning forward when sitting or as you sit down is not a good idea.
- Don't try to pick something up from the floor while seated.
- When bending down, don't turn your feet too much inward or outward.
- When laying in bed, don't reach down to pull up covers.
- Don't bend your waist more than 90 degrees.
- Maintain a forward-facing leg.
- Sit or stand with the afflicted leg in front of you.
- In the kitchen, utilize a high kitchen or barstool.
- Kneel on the operated leg's knee (the bad side).
- Use ice to relieve pain and swelling, but keep in mind that it will dull your senses. Use an ice pack or cover it in a wet towel instead of applying ice straight to the skin.
- To help with range of motion, apply heat before exercising. For 15 to 20 minutes, use a heating pad or a hot, moist cloth.
- If your muscles start to hurt, reduce the amount of time you spend performing them, but don't stop!