Hip replacement surgery is a major surgery and recovery depends a lot on others for support and care throughout the recovery period. It will take at least 2 months to recover and patients can expect to resume their daily activities after that. A stay in period of between 3 to 4 days is required after surgery but this varies with different patients. Pain relief medication will be prescribed to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Recovery will begin immediately after surgery.
Doing exercises regularly will help to restore full range of motion and strength and allow you to gradually return to daily activities and subsequently full recovery.
Early Postoperative Exercises
Doing exercises helps to prevent blood clots and increases blood circulation to the leg and feet, aiding recovery. It also strengthens muscles and increases the range of motion. It will definitely be uncomfortable initially but as you continue to carry the exercises out, it will start to be enjoyable and speed up your recovery.
Walking with aids
After surgery, your physical therapist will encourage you to start walking short distances and carry out light activities which will help to regain strength. With the help of a walking aid such as a walker or cane, stand up straight and balance your weight equally on both legs. Try to lift your toes off the ground and flatten them when landing as it will help to build muscles and increase strength. The walking aid also helps to prevent falls and helps to balance your body.
Stair Climbing and Descending
Climbing up and down stairs requires strength and flexibility. Holding the handrail for support, go up each step one at a time. Always use the good leg to go up the stairs and the operated leg down the stairs. Stair climbing build muscles and strengthens them, and builds endurance as well.
Exercycling is a low impact activity that helps to regain muscular strength and mobility in the hip region. Start the activity pedaling backwards and after it is comfortable, you may start to pedal forward. Exercycling also increases the body's releasing of endorphins which helps to reduce stress and pain.
Recovery from hip replacement surgery actually takes place before the start of the surgery itself. Months before the surgery, patients should start to build up their muscles by exercising or going to the gym regularly to strengthen the leg and abdominal muscles. Having strong muscles helps to reduce the recovery time. Recovery time differs among patients and one must be realistic and not expect miracles to happen.