Hip replacement surgery is a procedure to replace your hip joint with artificial parts if its been damaged or worn away. This damage is usually caused by arthritis but can sometimes be from a bad injury.
Your hip is a ball and socket joint. Usually the “ball” at the top of your thigh bone moves smoothly in the “socket” of your pelvis. The socket is lined with smooth cartilage. If the cartilage gets worn away the bone underneath is exposed and your joint can become stiff and sore which is what makes it painful to walk or move around. An operation to give you a new hip joint will ease your pain and give you back full mobility.
After surgery you may feel some discomfort or pain as the anaesthetic wears off. You will be offered pain relief and you will be kept in hospital between three to five days. During your stay in hospital a physiotherapist will visit you every day. They will give you some exercises to do which are designed to help you get moving again and strengthen your hip.
Everyone recovers differently from any surgery, this being no different. How quickly you recover may depend on your age and general health. Once you have been discharged from hospital your recovery process will continue at home. It is very important to build up slowly with your exercises given to you by your physiotherapist each day. At around six to eight weeks you should be able to return to work depending on the type of job that you do.
There are a few definite “WHAT NOT TO DO” in the first six weeks of recovery.
- Crossing your legs
- Twisting your hip inwards and outwards
- Bending you hips past 90 degrees
- Sitting on a very low chair or toilet seat
- Bending over ie. To tie your shoelaces
- Cutting your toenails
- Lying on your side for the first six weeks after surgery.
By the time you leave hospital your physiotherapist will ensure you manage stairs although you may find it difficult and will send you home with crutches for extra support. After a couple of weeks you should be able to walk longer distances and for longer periods of time, but you may still require using the crutches until you see your surgeon at six weeks post op.