What is a Hip Replacement?
A hip replacement involves replacing a damaged hip joint with an artificial implant. Adults of any age can opt for a hip replacement if they are living with pain. The most common age range is between 60 and 80 years old. A hip replacement lasts for around 15 years.
The benefits of having a hip replacement, when healed after surgery include:
- Reduced pain
- Improved range of movement
What Are the Signs of Needing a Hip Replacement?
You should seek hip-replacement surgery if you are having problems such as osteoarthritis. This chronic condition involves a deterioration of cartilage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition. This is where there is inflammation of a joint lining and the lining becomes inflamed. Due to swelling that may occur, it can destroy the surrounding bone and cartilage.
Finally, if you are suffering from osteonecrosis then this is a sign that you may need to seek treatment. Osteonecrosis is a disease that causes a decrease in blood supply to an area of bone. Loss of blood can cause the bone to break down and collapse.
How Painful is a Hip Replacement?
It is important to recognise your journey to take note of the gradual reduction of pain. After all, it is more painful to continue without a hip replacement than having one. Speak to your hip specialist to discuss the journey and take note of pain on the following dates:
- Before you have your surgery
- Your time during hospital
- The first two weeks after surgery
- 3 months after surgery
A hip replacement is quite painful after surgery but not as painful as a knee replacement. Pain, swelling, and bruising are part of the natural recovery process. That is why medication is the best way to manage pain. Gentle activity and a healthy diet also contribute to a more successful recovery.
There are different types of medication prescribed for short-term pain relief after surgery.
Pain management medication includes:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Local anaesthetics
It is best to try avoiding opioids after surgery. This is because these medications are narcotics and can cause addictions. If you need to use them, be sure to reduce the intake as your pain begins to reduce.
Exercise is an essential part of the healing process during the first few weeks. It can be beneficial to have a physical therapist help you at home or in a therapy centre. This is only for the first few weeks after surgery. 3 to 6 weeks following surgery is when you will be able to return to normal life.
Gentle activities include:
- Walking programs
- Specific gentle exercises several times a day. to restore movement and strengthen your hip.
Some people may lose their appetite for serval weeks after surgery. This is common, but, if you feel like you have lost your appetite then be sure to drink plenty of water. It is important to have a balanced diet and try nourishing your body in the best possible way.
Some people use an iron supplement as this is important to promote proper tissue healing. Iron also helps to restore muscle strength.
How Long Does Hip Replacement Recovery Take?
Rothman state that there are 5 tips for successful total hip replacement recovery. This includes:
- Having an exercise plan in place
- Maintaining a healthy diet and body weight
- Taking steps to prevent blood clots
- Preparing your household for reduced mobility
When you need a qualified and caring practitioner in Sydney, Western Orthopedics have a solution for you. Their principal orthopedic surgeon — Dr Pavitar Sunner — has the tools and training to treat any hip injury with careful attention and expertise. Complete this quick and easy hip quiz today to see how Dr Sunner can help you.