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Hip Replacement Recovery: What to Expect

hip replacement recovery

If you or a loved one is considering hip replacement surgery or you are scheduled for one, let us provide some tips and a guide for recovery. Hip replacement recovery: what to expect.

Hip Replacement Surgeries Are Becoming Commonplace

According to The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons more than 450,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed in the US every year. They expect that number to increase 40% by 2030. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take this surgery seriously and be prepared if you are about to have one.

It is your responsibility to care for yourself post surgery and put everything in place for your return home and rehabilitation.

Know the Difference Between Traditional vs Same-Day Surgery

Many factors will contribute as to whether you can have same-day, or outpatient surgery. Outpatient surgery requires you to be in good general health with no serious medical conditions. You should already be leading an active lifestyle, with little or no muscle and fat on your hips and thighs.

Major benefits of outpatient hip replacement surgery include lower risk of infection, smaller incision, faster recovery, less pain, and a lower hospital bill. Rather than needing to stay in the hospital for several days, you will be released on the same day as surgery.

Those patients having traditional surgery will be hospitalized for several days so they can be observed to prevent complications like blood clots.

Mobility Expectations

Expect to be up and moving around shortly after surgery. This will increase your muscle strength, prevent stiffness, reduce risk of a blood clot, and minimize scar tissue.

Most patients don’t require a cane, but you can decide that in consultation with Dr. Wingert. Your recovery will take 2 to 4 weeks, but allow 6 weeks for the incision to heal. Do not bathe or go swimming while your incision heals, but you can shower during that time.

Expect you will have a physical therapy session before you leave the hospital. This is to get you accustomed to regular movements like getting up from a chair, out of a car, or out of bed. 

Pain Expectations

Ease yourself into activities and rest between physical therapy sessions. Expect to perform rehab several times per week. Use ice as needed for pain at the incision.

Take anti-inflammatory medications and keep your leg elevated above your heart when resting to reduce any swelling. Monitor your pain level, and if it becomes too uncomfortable, speak to Dr. Wingert.

Plan Ahead for Your Recovery Time

It’s important to follow the post-operative guide provided to you. Take steps to plan ahead prior to your procedure to make your recovery time free of stress and strain.

  • At-home preparations should be completed prior to surgery.
  • Make practical modifications to your home like moving essential things to waist level or moving furniture to help with easy mobility.
  • Make plans with friends and family for help with initial rehab, bathing, cooking, driving, etc.
  • Maintain a balanced diet during recovery.
  • Gradually increase light activities like walking and household chores.

Take it slow but steady with all activities. Returning to driving, sports, working, and sexual activity will be different for each person. Consult with your surgeon who will make those recommendations for you.

Contact Dr. Nathaniel Wingert if you are considering hip replacement surgery and want to schedule an examination in Seattle and Kirkland.

hip replacement recovery

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