Life After Hip Replacement

Life After Hip Replacement

Chronic hip pain is a problem that affects every aspect of your life. A hip replacement is the next step to relieve your pain when you've tried everything else without relief.

You must understand the hip replacement process to prepare for life after your procedure.

Dr. Brandon Downs is an orthopaedic surgeon with plenty of hip replacement experience. His practice, Orthopaedic Specialists, offers state-of-the-art treatments for long-term hip pain relief.

What is a hip replacement?

Dr. Downs performs hip replacement surgery when your hip pain is unbearable and your mobility is compromised. A hip replacement is often the next step when you've tried conservative measures without pain relief.

Hip replacements eliminate joint damage, which is often due to osteoarthritis. During the procedure, Dr. Downs removes damaged bone and tissue and replaces them with an artificial joint.

The artificial joint is made of hard plastics, ceramic, or metal and acts like your natural joint. Dr. Downs attaches the prosthetic with surgical-grade cement and screws.

Hip replacement surgery aims to improve your mobility and decrease your pain. The prosthetic also enhances your quality of life after your recovery.

After surgery — what to expect

After your hip replacement, you'll stay in the hospital for a day or so to recover. A physical therapist visits the hospital to get you moving as soon as possible.

The physical therapist teaches you how to use assistive devices to help you get around. A walker or cane is used in the first few weeks after your procedure as you adjust to your new hip.

You should expect some pain after surgery for the first couple of days. Dr. Downs prescribes pain medications to help you through surgical discomfort.

Once you're home, you must continue to move around. Movement keeps your hip from getting stiff and prevents blood clots from forming. You'll go to physical therapy several times a week during your recovery.

You'll need to prepare for the weeks following your surgery. Preparing includes moving furniture around to open space and removing tripping hazards from your home. You don't want to use steps for a little while, so make a comfortable space on the first floor.

Life in the months after your procedure

You’ll start noticing some improvement over the weeks following your hip replacement. Your pain slowly improves, and your ability to walk and move gets easier. 

Dr. Downs checks you throughout the recovery to ensure you’re doing okay. He evaluates your range of motion and flexibility throughout the months following your hip replacement.

Once Dr. Downs gives the go-ahead, you can return to your normal activities. However, there are some changes you need to make with your new hip. 

Your exercise routine should consist of low-impact activities. Swimming, walking, and stationary biking are low-impact exercises you can do after a hip replacement. Stay away from practices that require jumping or put a lot of stress on your hip.

Performing your physical therapy exercises is essential for several months after your procedure. Physical therapy is crucial to your hip’s recovery.

Dr. Downs gives you a list of do’s and don’ts to help you through recovery. You never want to stress your new hip, so it lasts as long as possible.

To learn more about hip replacement surgery, contact the Orthopaedic Specialists team today by calling or requesting an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Nashville, Tennessee.

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