Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery: What It Takes to Heal

A period of healing can be misperceived as a time to be laid up in bed, drugged up on painkillers.  This, I think, couldn’t be further from the truth.  Especially if you’re in the process of hip replacement surgery recovery, you’re not healing if you’re still in bed, half-conscious, with your system full of pharmaceuticals.  

Hip replacement patients often start their physical therapy the day after their surgery.  While this might not be true for all patients, it is true that physical therapy is an integral part of the healing process.  

In fact, physical therapy is now being recommended as a treatment for a variety of ailments, especially in older people; people suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s, urinary incontinence, stroke, and arthritis, among others, are all given physical therapy regimes.  While physical therapy was once considered “something to try,” more of an experimental type of treatment than anything else, it is now very often the primary treatment.   

Physical therapy is almost always prescribed for people who have had hip fractures or replacements – in cases where physical therapy wasn’t prescribed, that was probably only due to rare and unexpected complications that prevented it.  If it’s expected that someone would not be able to participate in physical therapy following hip replacement surgery, that patient should not be recommended as a candidate for surgery, because what’s the point of an artificial hip you can’t use?

Engaging in some sort of physical therapy or exercise routine prior to surgery will also help make the recovery process smoother.  Physical therapy has been proven to help replenish or enhance strength, coordination, flexibility, range of motion, and endurance, not to mention to reduce pain.

Also, if you’ve always been an exerciser, don’t stop.  Sure, you might have to modify your routine and definitely talk to your doctor about what activities might put a strain on your new hip.  But don’t be discouraged, and try not to think of it as having to give something up, but rather as getting the opportunity to learn new ways of strengthening your body and building up your endurance.

An interesting statistical tidbit is that people who engage in weight-bearing exercises when they’re younger tend to have a decreased risk of osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis, of course, can lead to hip fracture, and thus to hip replacement.  Think about why weight bearing might help to prevent all of that.  It seems simple and logical enough that because the muscles that support the bones are stronger, there has been less negative pressure on the bones throughout life.  

But even if you’re not “younger,” even if it’s too late to prevent it, that information is not useless to you.  It’s going to be important to learn how to use your muscles in such a way as to not put adverse pressure on your new hip.  There are still exercises you can do, physical therapy and beyond, to strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance, thereby increasing your your stamina, your mental well-being, and your sense of balance, which decreases your likelihood of falls.

When it comes to hip replacement surgery recovery, getting the right information can be a daunting task.  That’s why we put together this confidential report for you at our hip replacement surgery recovery website.