Easy And Effortless Recovery From Your Total Hip Surgery At Home

You're getting ready to go in for a total hip replacement to get rid of the pain caused by the arthritis in your hip. Your orthopedic surgeon will have given you a set of instructions on what to expect when you go to the hospital. You should also be ready for your recovery at home, which will go much smoother if you do some upfront preparations. Here is what to do to get ready for an easy recovery at home from your hip replacement surgery.

Before You Go Home

Soon after your surgery, your doctor will have you get out of bed and walk a few steps. You'll learn how to move from the bed to the chair and back. This activity, so soon after the surgery, stimulates circulation and keeps your muscles limber. Over the next couple of days, you'll work with a physical therapist to learn to walk with crutches or a walker.

Your doctor will release you from the hospital when they see that you can be steady on your feet with support and the surgical incision is healing well. What you need to know is that you will still be weak and a little unsure of your footing when you leave the hospital for home. This is one reason for making plans before you get home.

Arrange to Have Help for a Few Days

You'll find that the daily tasks, such as fixing meals and doing laundry, will take a lot of energy that you don't yet have. While you're gaining strength, have someone in your home to help. This could be a friend, family member or someone from a home health care service. You'll appreciate having someone around to help until you're completely steady on your feet and have the stamina to take over the responsibilities around the house.

Have Your Home Ready for Your Arrival

Your home may not be the most friendly place for someone who has just had major hip surgery. Make a few changes before you go in for your surgery so your house will be an easier and safer place in which to recover.

  • Reposition furniture so you have a clear pathway with your crutches or walker through each room.
  • If your bedroom is up or down stairs, set up a room on the ground floor in which to sleep for a few days so you can avoid the stairs until you build up your strength.
  • Your orthopedic doctor will give you instructions about avoiding soft chairs that cause you to sink down in them. When you get up, you have to bend forward at an angle that could hurt your new hip. Make sure you have some chairs with firm seating in the house that you can use for several weeks.
  • Pick up any rugs off the floor that could slip and cause you to fall. Move small items, such as magazine racks and trash cans, that could trip you as you walk through the house. Move any electrical cords out of the way.
  • Rent a shower chair from a medical supply company to use for a few weeks so you don't have to stand in the shower or sit down in the tub to bathe.

Focus Your Attention on Your Recovery

You may work with a physical therapist for a few sessions, and you'll have exercises to do on your own. Turn everything you do at home into an opportunity to get stronger. Do your hip and knee stretching exercises while you watch TV. Walk down to the corner of the street and back when you go outside to pick up the newspaper. Look for ways to incorporate your stretching and strengthening exercises into your daily routine.

For more information, contact Northwoods Family Orthopaedics SC or a similar organization.