HIP REPLACEMENT SURGERY
A guideline to the rehabilitation process for hip replacement surgery:
The rehabilitation process starts as soon as you recover from the anaesthetic.
When sensation and movement returns, you will be encouraged to carry out simple exercise activities including ankle pumps and leg lifts. You will also be encouraged to do heel slides while sitting on a chair. It is possible that you will walk on the same day or day after surgery.
Pain is monitored while exercise takes place. Some degree of discomfort is normal. You should notice significant improvement from the pain that you were experiencing prior to surgery. Of course, the wound and surgical site will be painful until it heals.
Patients currently spend about 2-3 days in hospital. You may be discharged home on the day of surgery if you are doing very well and it is safe to do so.
When you are discharged from hospital, you will be given painkillers and medication to reduce the risk of developing blood clots. The wound on your knee should be protected with a dressing and kept dry for approximately 2 weeks.
While in hospital, you will work on walking safely with the physiotherapist. An occupational therapist will prepare you to manage daily activities at home with your new hip.
You will be taught to do stairs before discharge and may require a walking aid for 4-6 weeks.
Depending on your job, return to work will be between 4 to 10 weeks following the surgery.
You should not drive until it is safe to do so (maybe 4-6 weeks following surgery). The surgery will initially impact your ability to control the vehicle safely due to pain and weakness. Any medication that you are taking may make you drowsy.
Factors affecting the Rate of Progression
Therapy progresses at a different pace for each patient. Factors that will affect the rate of your progression include your muscle strength and condition before surgery. Pre-rehabilitation and exercises may prepare you better for surgery.