5 Tips to Decrease Recovery Time After Hip Replacement Surgery
Patients may need a full six months to recover from hip replacement surgery. The recovery time may decrease, though, with a commitment to completing mobility and strength-building exercises on a consistent basis.
Ice the Incision
Most incisions from hip replacement surgery are closed with staples that are removed two weeks after surgery. Take careful care of the incision to reduce the risk of infection that can lengthen recovery time. Ice the incision for 10 to 15 minutes, and keep the incision area dry with a bandage. Avoid applying ointments, lotions or creams to the affected hip area.
Perform Bed Exercises
As soon as a day after surgery, patients are encouraged to begin performing bed exercises to regain strength in the hip and leg. Exercises may include small leg lifts and light weight bearing by sitting on the bed and standing up with the assistance of a walker. Patients are encouraged to begin walking with assistance, but stairs should be avoided the first few days after surgery.
Take Pain Medication As Needed
Patients are likely to experience pain following a hip replacement surgery. Pain medication should be taken as needed and as directed by a physician to reduce inflammation and improve mobility to speed up the recovery process. Without pain medication, it may be too painful for patients to begin walking and moving, which is a necessary part of the recovery process.
See a Physical Therapist
Three to six weeks following surgery, patients should work with a physical therapist to gain strength in the hip, thigh and leg affected by surgery. Physical therapists guide patients through exercises and assign strength-building movements for the patient to complete at home to reduce the recovery time after a hip replacement surgery.
Although it may be painful to climb stairs or walk at times, patients must stay mobile to regain strength and recover fully from a hip replacement surgery. Perform exercises as directed and consult with a physical therapist or physician if pain is unbearable to ensure that injury, inflammation or infection is not delaying the recovery process.
Recovering from a hip replacement surgery can be challenging but with hard work, dedication to recovery and the assistance of physical therapists and physicians, patients can decrease the time it typically takes to recover. Accept the limitations imposed by physicians and adhere to medical instructions to avoid a setback that could lengthen the recovery time.