Hip Resurfacing Recovery
In this section we will discuss a few things you need to know with regards to hip resurfacing surgery recovery. We will cover some common hospital protocols as well as precautions your doctor and staff will be taking to avoid complications which can result from surgery.
Surgery and recovery
After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for a period of observation. The staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature. Special attention will be given to your circulation and sensation in your feet and legs. When you awaken and your condition is stabilized you will be transferred to your room.
Hip Resurfacing Precautions and Post-operative Care
As with any major surgical procedure, hip complications can occur following hip replacement surgery.
Rehabilitation after hip resurfacing surgery
Your own diligence regarding physical rehabilitation is one of the most critical factors in achieving successful recovery from hip resurfacing surgery. You must actively participate in the rehabilitation process, working on your own as well as with your physical therapist to achieve optimal results.
The physical therapists will begin working with you as early as a day after surgery. They will teach you simple exercises that can be performed in bed to strengthen the muscles in the hip and lower extremity. These exercises may include:
- Gluteal sets: Tighten and relax the buttock muscles
- Quadricep sets: Tighten and relax the thigh muscles
- Ankle pumps: Flex and extend the ankles
Your physical therapist will also teach you the following proper techniques. Although these activities may seem simple, you must learn to do them safely so that the hip does not dislocate or suffer other injury.
- Moving up and down in bed
- Going from lying to sitting and vice versa
- Going from sitting to standing and vice versa
Another important goal for early physical therapy is for you to learn to walk safely with your walker, crutches or other assistive device. Your orthopedic surgeon will determine how much weight you can bear on your new hip and the therapist will teach you the proper techniques for walking on level surfaces and stairs with your assistive device. Improper use of the assistive device increases the chance for injury or an accident.
Hospital discharge and home instructions
You will generally be discharged from the hospital after five to seven days with an assistive walking device. While at home, continue to walk with an assistive device unless directed by your surgeon to discontinue use. You must also remember to strictly follow the hip precautions and weight-bearing instructions during the first few months following surgery.
Before leaving the hospital, your doctor and staff will help you adjust to recovery in every way possible. They will show you safe techniques of simple activities like getting in and out of bed, bathing, going to the bathroom, managing steps at home and getting in and out of a car. Progress varies from patient to patient, so discharge instructions may also vary. You will receive specific precautions from your orthopedic surgeon, nurse and physical therapist.
Life after hip resurfacing surgery
You should have a near-normal range of motion and adequate strength in your hip to perform most daily activities after completing the post-operative hip rehabilitation process. For young, healthy patients, full weight-bearing is often allowed within the first week and normal walking resumes by 4-6 weeks. In the weeks after your surgery, it is important to continue to walk on a regular basis to further strengthen your hip muscles. An exercise and walking program helps to enhance your recovery from surgery and helps make activities of daily living easier to manage. Driving may be commenced around 4-5 weeks after surgery although it is recommended that you do not drive unless you have been approved by your doctor.
It should be noted that the first 6 months post-operation are the most vulnerable period for the joint as it is during this period that the bone initially remodels to ‘grip’ the implant. During this period impact at the joint should be avoided.
After hip resurfacing surgery, patients have effectively returned to walking, driving, swimming, golf, doubles tennis, stationary cycling and gardening. Even high-impact activities such as running, vigorous walking and downhill skiing. Remember to listen to what your body tells you. If you begin to have pain or swelling, contact your physician for advice.