Effective pain management is key to a great recovery. At the Hip and Pelvis Institute, we take a multi-pronged approach to minimize the amount of pain you experience post-surgery.
After your surgery, the nursing team will help you put on some compression stockings. While not the most attractive accessories, they help control swelling and prevent blood clots. On discharge from hospital or surgical center you will also be provided with a walker.
The short answer is, you’ll know when the time is right for you. Ask yourself, is your hip pain making your life smaller, or slowly reducing the number of activities you can participate in? It might be time to consider a replacement.
A lot of people have some trepidation when they go see a surgeon, so having an understanding of the workflow from the outset is important.
The short answer is yes! We can look after you. In fact, we see quite a few patients at our center who come to us for surgery from out of the area.
The good news is that hip replacement surgeries today are better than ever. The biomaterials are well proven and we now have better knowledge of any potential risks.
Consultations often involve frank discussions about the potential surgical risks that you as an individual face. Our aim is to help you understand the possible issues and work with you to minimize them.
While everyone recovers at their own speed, we take a look at the typical timelines for hitting key recovery milestones after hip replacement.
While physical therapy isn’t required following an anterior approach hip replacement – many patients find that they are able to hit their recovery goals much faster when guided by a physical therapist – as they are able to focus effort on the areas that need the most work. It’s common to have muscle imbalances following long-term osteoarthritis so if you have walked with a limp for some time before surgery, you may find that gait training helps you return to walking normally.
We recommend finding a physical therapist familiar with anterior hip replacements – as patients who have received other approaches often have multiple restrictions or precautions for up to 12 weeks after surgery. Ask us for a list of local therapists we recommend. Alternatively, your insurance provider may be able to share in-network therapists.
Do not start physical therapy until you have been cleared at your 2-weel post-operative meeting, however, we recommend planning ahead and contacting your chosen therapist before that date as it may take some weeks to schedule your initial PT evaluation.
You may also find pool therapy beneficial – after around 4 weeks after surgery when your incision has fully healed.
In addition, you will also be provided with a set of exercises that you can perform on your own at home. Aquatic exercises, swimming, and stationary bicycle walking will also be beneficial.
Most patients find ice beneficial for the first 7-10 days after surgery to help reduce swelling and pain.
Apply ice for 20 minutes per hour as often as every hour. Many patients use gel packs that can be frozen, while others find ice machines very convenient. Ask us if you’d like to arrange a rental.
If you prefer to use ice packs, remember to wrap them in a pillowcase or towel so they are not in direct contact with your skin as this can cause burns. After your surgery you may experience some temporary changes in skin sensation near your incision, so you will need to take extra care to avoid prolonged direct exposure to ice.
Approximately two weeks after surgery you can start using heat as needed.