Hip Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery
January 26, 2015
What to Expect During & After Your Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Each year, more than 285,000 people in the United States choose total hip replacement surgery as a viable solution in dealing with debilitating hip pain and mobility issues.
Hip pain and mobility issues affect a growing number of Americans. For some, this condition is caused by an injury or accident, while others experience it due to another health condition such as arthritis or simply as a part of the aging process. When you choose to undergo total hip replacement surgery at Arkansas Surgical Hospital, make sure you are well prepared for what comes before, during, and after the procedure.
When Should You Consider Total Hip Replacement Surgery?
Severe or persistent hip pain that limits your daily activities and interferes with restful sleep and your quality of life is one of the most common reasons for undergoing total hip replacement surgery. In some instances of hip pain, physical therapy, medication, and other treatments may offer some relief.
However, if the pain is severe and non-surgical treatments have failed to render relief, total hip replacement surgery can offer long-lasting relief from pain and improved mobility.
What Can You Do To Prepare for a Successful Total Hip Replacement Procedure?
Getting the most successful outcome from any surgical procedure involves making sure that you fully understand the entire process, from surgery through recovery. This is best accomplished by taking time to research the procedure you are considering, as well as the physical therapy that will be needed afterward. Here are some points to consider:
- Arrange work and family schedules so that you will have ample recovery time and assistance after surgery from family and friends. (One of the most common reasons for post-surgical complications is lack of efficient care during recovery).
- Rearrange furniture in your home to create safe walkways; install grab bars in your bathroom; and learn how to use a walker, crutches, and cane before your procedure.
- If you smoke, consider stopping prior to the surgery as it can cause healing problems and can contribute to other serious complications.
- Complete all required pre-testing and doctor-instructed preparation (including avoiding eating and drinking after midnight on the evening before your surgery and showering with a pre-surgical scrub).
How Will You Feel After the Procedure?
Although you can expect to feel some pain after you wake up following the surgery, medication and nursing care can help to keep you fairly comfortable. In most cases, you will be able to sit up, stand and walk, with assistance, within a few hours after the procedure. (A note of caution: do not get up without help. Use your call button if you need help before you get out of bed).
Over the next couple of days, you will begin to move around with the help of a walker and transition to oral pain medication instead of IV. You will also resume eating a normal diet and begin to feel more confident and comfortable with your new hip and the mobility it can give you. You will then be discharged with a detailed aftercare plan to help you through the recovery and rehabilitation process.
What Does a Normal Rehabilitation Process Look Like?
Each patient is different, but most rehabilitation processes will depend on both your individual needs and the available resources in your area. You may choose to spend a short time in a rehabilitation center, utilize the services of a therapist who visits your home, visit a nearby outpatient rehab facility, or use some combination of these options. Your treatment will depend on your insurance, your level of mobility when you leave the hospital, and the available therapy options in your hometown.
During the rehab process, you will learn exercises and techniques to increase your comfort level, speed the recovery process, and help you return to normal activities as quickly as possible.
It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort during the rehab process. Pain medication, massage, exercise and other therapies can help you through. Your physician will decide if mechanical (compression equipment) or chemical (oral medicine) prophylaxis is appropriate for you to prevent blood clots after surgery.