How Seniors Can Ease Their Recovery After Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is a major event. Choosing to replace a joint is often a last resort, and you may be worried about the road to recovery after surgery. How long will it take? How much pain will there be? How much work will it take to get back to normal? It’s important to do as much research as possible beforehand so that you have a solid plan when you start your recovery.
The good news about hip replacement surgery is that you’re almost certainly better off once you’ve had it. The debilitating pain, inflammation and lack of mobility that went along with your worn-out joint will be taken care of, so you should start feeling better very soon.
Before your surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about which implant will be used. This is important because some artificial hips are more dangerous than others. For example, the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem systems have been linked to very serious complications and were actually recalled in 2012. Other metal-on-metal hips are still on the market, however, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the safety record of your implant.
Therapy and Recovery
After your surgery, you’re hopefully on your way to a better quality of life. After a few days of rest and limited mobility, you should be ready to start physical therapy. Small exercises are the first step. You should work with a professional physical therapist three to four times per week. He or she will give you additional advice and exercises.
To make your recovery easier, you’re going to need help around the house. Hip surgery means no driving for at least 3-6 weeks, so someone will have to help you with errands. You will also be limited in mobility overall; shopping, cleaning, cooking and other everyday activities can get a lot harder when you can’t move around very well. If you have family members who are willing to pitch in, that’s fantastic. Otherwise, you may need a few weeks of helpful home care.
It’s important to increase your level of physical activity and exercise as you gain more mobility and heal from your surgery. Within six weeks, you should be able to return to a full level of activity, which is vital to the recovery process. Push yourself, but not too hard, as falling or straining could damage your hip all over again.
Recovering from surgery is never easy. But if you arm yourself with a plan and prepare in advance, you can make it a little easier on yourself.
Jennifer Mesko is the managing editor of Drugwatch.com, a website that keeps consumers informed about dangerous prescription drugs and defective medical devices. Join the Drugwatch community on our facebook page to find out more.
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