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4 things I wish I knew before hip replacement surgery

What I Wish I Knew Before Hip Replacement Surgery
3 minutes, 46 seconds

Hip replacement surgery is a major procedure that can greatly improve quality of life for people with hip joint problems. However, before undergoing the surgery, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what to expect. From preoperative preparation to postoperative care, there are several key factors to consider to ensure that you have a successful recovery. 

Before hip replacement surgery, you should be well informed and confident about your upcoming procedure. Whether you're dealing with chronic pain, hip joint damage, or simply seeking to improve mobility, physical therapy can help you both before and after your procedure.

4 things you should know before hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a procedure that replaces the damaged or diseased hip joint with an artificial joint known as a prosthesis. The goal of this surgery is to relieve pain and improve mobility in your hip. 

Hip replacement surgery is typically recommended for individuals with hip joint pain and disability caused by arthritis, hip joint fractures, or other conditions that damage the hip joint.

Here are some important things to know about hip replacement surgery:

  1. Pre-surgery preparation — Prior to the surgery, patients may need to undergo medical tests, such as X-rays, blood tests and an electrocardiogram. They may also need to make arrangements for postoperative care, such as home health services or rehabilitation.
  2. Surgical procedure — Hip replacement surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and may take between one and two hours. During the procedure, the damaged hip joint is removed and the prosthesis is attached to the remaining bone.
  3. Recovery — After the surgery, patients will need to rest and avoid putting weight on the operated hip for several weeks. Physical therapy is usually prescribed to help improve mobility and reduce pain. The recovery period can last several months, and full recovery can take up to a year or more.
  4. Risks and complications — As with any surgery, hip replacement surgery carries risks and potential complications, such as infection, bleeding, blood clots and joint dislocation.

It is important to know and discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives of hip replacement surgery with a qualified medical professional and to have realistic expectations about the recovery process. Proper care and rehabilitation after the surgery can help ensure a successful outcome.

How can pre- and post-surgical PT help your recovery?

Pre-surgical physical therapy can help prepare your hip and surrounding muscles for your surgical procedure. This may include range-of-motion exercises and strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and stability in the hip.

Pre- and post-surgical physical therapy can play an important role in helping you recover from hip replacement surgery. Here are some ways that pre- and post-surgical PT can benefit you:

  1. Pain management — Physical therapy can help reduce pain and improve function before and after the surgery. This may involve using heat, ice, dry needling, or other modalities to manage pain and swelling.
  2. Improving mobility — After the surgery, physical therapy can help improve hip mobility and flexibility by gradually increasing the range of motion in the hip joint. This can help prevent joint stiffness and reduce the risk of complications.
  3. Strengthening muscles — Physical therapy can help improve hip stability by strengthening the surrounding muscles, such as the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. This can help improve your balance, coordination and overall hip function.
  4. Improving gait — Physical therapy can help improve your gait (walking pattern) by teaching you how to properly use crutches, canes or other assistive devices, and by providing gait retraining exercises.
  5. Reducing risk of falls — Physical therapy can help reduce your risk of falls by improving balance and stability, which can be especially important after surgery. Older adults will also need pre- and post-surgery physical therapy to decrease their higher risk of falling.
  6. Preventing complications — Physical therapy can help prevent potential complications, such as joint dislocation or implant failure, by ensuring that you follow the recommended exercises and activities.

Overall, pre- and post-surgical physical therapy can help improve recovery, reduce pain and swelling, improve function, and reduce the risk of complications after hip replacement surgery. A physical therapist can develop a personalized treatment program that meets the individual needs and goals of each patient.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for your hip replacement surgery

Has your doctor recommended hip replacement surgery to treat your hip injury or condition? You can be proactive in your healing process. Pre-surgical physical therapy can help boost your healing after your procedure. At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, our expert physical therapists can support your healing and help you get the high-quality PT you need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you prepare for your hip replacement surgery.

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your hip replacement, both before and after surgery.


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