A surgical process where the prosthetic implant is done replacing the joint of the hip is named hip replacement surgery. This surgery includes half of the hip joint replacement and the complete replacement of the joint. Hip replacements are a very common orthopedic surgery in today’s time. The satisfaction after the surgery varies from person to person. As per the research, 58% of hip replacement lasts up to 25 years.
To cure and treat the joint failure caused by osteoarthritis, surgeons perform total hip replacement operations. Sometimes the surgery is also done because of fractures, bone tumors, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Paget’s disease, etc.
Orthopedic surgeons implement various approaches for replacing the hip via operations. The surgery has become safer and easier for the surgeons to perform and patients to recover. When a patient visits the hospital for the surgery, he/she might experience the below:
- Once the patient visits the hospital in the morning, a proper medical evaluation is completed
- Later, it introduces the surgeon and anesthesiologist to the patient
- The patient is then injected with local anesthesia to bring the customer at a sedate pace
- A small slit is made to replace the joint and a plastic, ceramic, or metal is put inside
It is a long-hour surgery; it is completed in 1-2 hours. However, the recovery process is time-consuming. The recovery observation varies from one patient to another.
- The first and second days are critical periods and require utmost care. Patients are said not to get up and move around without help. Doctors recommend moving and walking carefully every half an hour, it regulates the circulation of blood and helps in strengthening the muscles.
- The third and fourth day is when the patient is discharged from the hospital, subject to no complications observed. The patient can get up and walk a little easier, however, someone’s assistance is still required.
- While discharging the doctors explain the dos and don’ts. They mention the diet plan, exercise plan, medicine list, etc.,
- From the 4th to the 10th day, taking proper care of the slit and stitches is crucial. Saving it from any infection is significantly relevant. After the 10th day walking and moving becomes simpler.
- The doctor recommends proceeding with the usual activities after 3-6 weeks with some level of restrictions.
- After 10 weeks, most people do not feel the pains however, examining and noticing any complication is advised.
- It takes around 6-12 months to recover completely depending on the patient.
Things to consider before going for hip replacement surgery:
- Removing the slippery surfaces and rugs from the house is the first step
- Keep the hallway empty to get the crutches or the walker in that area to walk comfortably after the surgery
- In the bathroom, changing all the slippery surfaces with the rubbery or mat surface is advisable
- Organising the wardrobe and keeping things systematically is a must. Post-surgery, for some days bending or taking things from heights will not be permissible.
Experts say, even if the professionals or the family members are available, it is important to be prepared for self to avoid any uncertainty.
Some surgeons advise attending physical therapy at least twice or thrice a week for the first 6 weeks. Some advice to go for physical therapy but not that long, instead they suggest some exercises. It is very essential to take advice from personal healthcare as he has worked on the patient’s surgery and he/she knows better about the case.
Hip replacement surgery is successful for the majority of patients. However, some may observe the below postoperative complications:
- Foul odor from the wound from the slit area
- Continuous shivering after the operation for a long time
- Increased body temperature
- Worsening pain
- Swelling, cramps, blood clots, skin discoloration, etc.
- Shortness of breath, or pain near the chest
As per the reports, 2% of the patients observe the rest of the complications while all get recovered easily.
Ageing affects the recovery process dominantly. Elderly people observe the complications more. An unhealthy lifestyle and diet affect any long-term existing disease.
Tips to consider for a speedy recovery:
- Planning some time off work and relaxing
- Balancing appropriately while relaxing and exercising
- Arranging a professional for proper care, or asking family members or friends for help
- Managing a healthy lifestyle and diet
- Timely routine checks up and continuous contact with the doctor
- Taking medicines on time
- Avoid travelling
- Being mindful while getting up or lying down
Things to avoid:
- No crossing of legs for eight weeks at least
- Avoid twisting hips
- Do not raise legs while sitting
- Avoid bending, leaning, etc.
After 2-3 weeks of the surgery, the patient can start going on walks with proper care. If the patient is a working professional, then can resume office after six weeks; however, if the job requires physical strength, then after three months. After 6-8 weeks, the patient can continue with the intercourse activities considering the less stressful position. After six weeks, patients can drive to small distances.
If the guidelines are followed properly and the patients are kept in utmost care, a speedy recovery is observed and can improve the quality of living.