The hip joint is made up of a ball and socket. Sometimes, either the socket of the hip or the thigh bone is injured or becomes diseased. This can result in pain, trouble with walking, or difficulty with everyday tasks. There are cases where pain relief methods such as medications, physical therapy, supports, or braces, may ease the pain. If these methods do not help, however, your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery.
Who Needs a Hip Replacement?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most people who have hip joint replacements are between ages 50 and 80. However, total hip replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend a total hip replacement. People who benefit from the procedure are often dealing with:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities
- Hip pain that continues while resting
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move the leg
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports
Preparing for Surgery
Before your surgery, your doctor is going to recommend some ways you can prepare both physically and mentally for the procedure. Those who are better prepared for their hip replacement surgery tend to achieve better results. Here are a few tips to make the process smooth and comfortable:
- Learn as much about the procedure as possible. Ask your doctor any questions you may have.
- Talk with past patients. Hearing about other’s successes can help you gain perspective and ease your mind.
- Schedule surgery when you can afford to take time off from work.
- Take multi-vitamins and eat well-balanced meals. Be particularly health-conscious during the weeks and months leading up to surgery to promote better healing.
- Have a positive attitude.
Preparing your home before your procedure is an important step for your recovery that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are a few things you should do before your procedure to ensure your recovery process isn’t hindered by a lack of preparedness.
- Adapt your environment. Rearrange furniture as needed so that you can easily maneuver around your home with your assistive device.
- Place items that are frequently used within reach so you’re not reaching too high or bending down.
- Remove any thrown rugs or area rugs that could cause you to trip or slip.
Recovering from Surgery
When you return home from your hip replacement, you should make an effort to stay active. You should be able to resume most normal activities of daily living within 3 to 6 weeks following surgery.
It is important to remember that the success of your surgery will depend in large measure on how well you follow your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery.
Dr. Nelson is experienced with hip replacements and is dedicated to helping his patients return to their daily activities. To schedule your appointment with him, please give us a call at (435) 787-2000.