The hip joint is one the largest joints in the human body, and is essential when moving in any way our legs are involved. The hip joint is where the ball of the thigh bone (femur) joins the pelvis at a socket called the acetabulum. There is cartilage covering both the bone of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis in the hip joint, and a joint lining tissue, called synovium, surrounds the hip joint. The synovium tissue produces fluid that lubricates the joint and provides nutrients to the cartilage of the joint. Over time, many people experience varying levels of deterioration in this area, eventually leading to bone on bone friction that is both painful and immobilizing.
The first hip replacement was done in 1962, and with today’s constantly evolving technology and state-of the-art facilities, patients now have the opportunity to elect for surgery and be up and about the next day. It is true with all surgery that there may be risks and complications, but the more actively a person adheres to the rehab process, research shows that recovery time will often be quicker.
Doctors are now going with the minimally-invasive anterior approach more often when doing hip replacements. This means smaller incisions, less blood, less pain, and faster recovery times.
Tips on how to recover from hip surgery:
A hip replacement can be daunting and involves some serious recovery. If you follow doctor’s orders, you can be sure to get back to what you love doing relatively quickly, and avoid some of the common mistakes people make.
1. Walk: Walking is vital to keep gaining mobility and avoid pain from constantly sitting. Try to avoid lifting your knees above 90 degrees, and be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks.
2. Manage your pain: You should expect some level of pain after surgery, although each person experiences pain differently. Using pain medication where necessary is important, as suffering through the pain only slows your healing process. If pain levels are down, the healing process is faster. Still, it can take between 6 to 24 weeks to reduce pain levels.
3. Don’t get discouraged: The recovery process might feel like forever at times, but getting discouraged is not the answer. If you follow all the right protocol, you will recover in no time, so don’t give up!
4. Do physical therapy: The area where hip surgery is often performed is deep and complex. It’s important your hip is assessed and checked to plan the optimum recovery. Good therapists will give you pain management strategies, an exercise program, address your biomechanics, range, strength and core.
If you have any questions on how to recover from your hip surgery, call Dr. Bill Hefley at (800) 336-2412 to request an appointment, or request one online.