The first question that comes into everyone’s mind after a hip replacement is: “When can I start walking?”
Total hip replacements certainly sound like an operation after which you’ll have to stay in bed for a long time, but it isn’t as daunting as it might sound. Although you can walk immediately after a hip replacement, you still have to be careful. The recovery process and length of a total hip replacement varies from patient to patient and takes at least two weeks, with full recovery taking six months to a year.
You can speed up your recovery time with preparation and by following your orthopedic surgeon‘s instructions. Let’s talk about what you can expect after hip replacement and where you can go around Little Rock, AR, for world-class orthopedic treatment.
One highly beneficial thing you can do to smoothen your hip replacement recovery is rearranging your home in a manner that you won’t have to do much climbing, lifting, or bending.
These may include:
- Put anything you regularly use to at least waist height.
- Move your bed to the first floor of your home.
- Place a chair in every room of your house so you can sit and rest your hips while going about your day.
- Stock up on ready-to-eat food, canned goods, or prepackaged meals.
- If you use assistive devices, such as walkers or a wheelchair, bring a bag for your essential items like your phone or wallet.
Having a relative or trusted friend with you at home could also help. However, be sure that they know what you need and that they’re willing to assist you with daily life for a few days or weeks.
What to Expect Immediately after Total Hip Replacement
Most patients can start walking and go home as soon as the operation ends. You likely won’t need bed rest. However, some factors may prolong your stay in the hospital for some time, such as:
- Pre-existing medical conditions like heart or lung diseases
- Lack of support at home
- Particularly complex surgeries needing observation
Besides, you should not drive for some time after your hip replacement.
0-2 Weeks After Surgery
Although you’ll be allowed to return home after your joint replacement surgery, you’ll still be recovering. Here are some things you should follow over the next few weeks.
Perform Light Exercise
Promoting blood flow is essential for complete recovery, so it’s helpful to do some exercise. However, take it slow — intense exercise could damage the surgical site, possibly delaying your recovery.
Some exercises you could do are:
- Walking — Walk around for a few minutes every day.
- Hip extensions — Raise your leg slightly behind you, then lower it slowly.
- Hip abduction — Extend your leg to the side, then lower it slowly.
- Knee raises — Slowly raise your knee as high as possible, then lower it to the ground.
Prevent Blood Clots
Blood clots are a serious complication after surgeries, as they can dislodge and block critical blood vessels.
Light exercise helps prevent blood clots; you can also wear compression socks or stockings. Your doctor may also prescribe blood thinners.
Don’t Overexert Yourself
Although you should stay active after your surgery, it’s critical to be cautious. You may have difficulty moving your hip or experience pain as you perform your daily activities. If you feel excessive pain or discomfort, it’s best to stop and rest.
Once You Reach 2+ Weeks Post-Surgery
2-6 Weeks After Surgery
After two to four weeks, your doctor will likely remove the stitches from the surgical wound. By this point, you should be able to walk without assistive devices. However, it’s still best to stick to light activity only, as intense movements and exercise may damage the surgical site or cause complications in your joint.
10+ Weeks After Surgery
After ten weeks, you should be able to return to regular activities, including sports and moderate exercise. You should still be vigilant about any unusual or uncomfortable feelings in your hip.
Full recovery can take anywhere from six to twelve months. By then, you should no longer feel any discomfort or stiffness.
Total Hip Replacements in Little Rock, AR
If you are looking for a total hip replacement, visit Bowen Hefley Orthopedics. Dr. Hefley is one of the top board-certified orthopedic surgeons in Arkansas with several years of experience under his belt.
We are well-equipped with advanced technology and highly skilled medical staff to assist you with all your orthopedic needs and live a pain-free life.
To know more about our services or schedule a consultation, call us today at (501) 663-6455 or request an appointment online!
We look forward to serving you!