New artificial surfaces allow the new prosthetics to move smoothly. As your
new hip heals and your post-operative pain subsides, you should find that
the pain and stiffness you experienced before the surgery have either disappeared
or been significantly diminished.
Congratulations! Now that your hip replacement surgery is over, you're ready
to begin your return to an active lifestyle. Rehabilitation can take weeks
or months, depending the state of your health before the operation, how quickly
the bones of your hip joint heal and how well you follow the rehab regimen
created by your doctor and therapists.
Be cautious with your new hip and avoid overly strenuous or prohibited activities.
And be patient - your recovery will take some time and effort. But if you
conscientiously do your exercises and follow your doctor's instructions, you
should again be able to enjoy most of the same activities you did before hip
pain made them impossible.
If your doctor does not supply you with a personal I.D. medical card that
identifies you as having a prosthetic device that may set off a metal detector,
you can go to www.joint-id.com
and order one. You can present this card at airport security checkpoints.
Using a Walker
During your recovery, your doctor will most likely recommend that you use
a walker to assist you in moving around. Start slowly by moving the walker
a few inches in front of you. Lean on it, letting it support most of your
weight, and step into the center of the walker with the injured leg. Taking
care not to twist that leg, step once with your other leg. As your rehabilitation
progresses, you'll be able to move the walker in time with your steps. Try
to take small, even steps.
Crutches require a considerable amount of upper body strength, so their use
is advisable only for certain patients. If your doctor agrees that they're
right for you, start by moving the crutches in place and then leaning on your
hands - not your armpits. Keeping your injured leg lined up with the crutches,
move both leg and crutches forward. Look straight ahead as you "step
through" the crutches with your other leg. To turn, take small steps.
Your physical therapist will show you several exercises designed to help you
strengthen your muscles and increase your range of motion.
When to Call Your Doctor: