Hip replacement surgery is a frequent surgical procedure completed in hospitals and outpatient clinics. But because this surgery has become so commonplace, patients are often sent home the same day as the surgery. However, this leads to issues surrounding good self-care practices and questions about movement restrictions after hip replacement surgery.
What can’t I do after surgery?
Hip replacement surgery affects the ball and socket portion of the hip, and limiting movement allows the hip to heal properly. These restrictions in movement keep the complications, such as displacement of the hip prosthesis, to a minimum. Even with this restriction of movement, complications can occur. But limiting your movements after surgery goes a long way toward avoiding as many of these complications as possible.
Healing of the hip prosthesis can take a period of 4 to 12 weeks, with each individual healing on their own timeline. But limitations in your movements usually last for 4 to 6 weeks. Please follow your surgeon’s instructions as they may differ in your case. Here is a list of movements you should avoid after your hip replacement surgery:
- Avoid bending forward at the hip, creating an angle of fewer than 90 degrees.
- Don’t cross your legs at the knee.
- Avoid movements that place your hips lower than your knees, like squatting.
- Avoid sudden movements that could lead to an injury
- Avoid laying on the surgical site, and always place a pillow between your knees.
- Avoid laying on your stomach.
- Don’t lift objects that weigh more than 5 pounds.
- Sit down to get dressed.
- Get assistance putting on your shoes and socks. Don’t bend forward to tie your shoes.
- Avoid leaning forward when you sit down.
- Don’t pick up items from the floor while you are sitting.
- Don’t reach down to pull up the blankets while you are lying down.
Most of these restrictions can be lifted after the normal healing period. However, some limitations may stay in place, even after you have fully healed. You should avoid participating in high-impact sports, such as football, basketball, volleyball, jogging, and even skiing, after your hip replacement. Low-impact sports such as golf, cycling, swimming, and bowling are considered acceptable activities to engage in after your hip replacement. Always remember to check with your surgeon before participating in sports or any activities you question, because they might cause undue stress on your new hip.
Is there anything else I should know about movement restrictions after hip replacement?
Self-care and safety should always be on your mind, especially after a hip replacement. If you have a slip or fall, the consequences can be a problem. You could dislocate the prosthesis or worse, fracture the prosthesis or the remaining bones surrounding the new hip joint.
Placing handrails in the shower and bathroom is one of the best ways to ensure safety. A rubber mat in the shower is also a good idea. You also need to remove any rugs, so you don’t slip or trip over them. Using a raised toilet seat allows you to be sure you don’t bend your hip too far. And, lastly, use a shower chair so you can reduce the chances of falling.
Good self-care, such as taking rest periods, completing tasks in stages, and asking for help if you need it, are, first and foremost, a decision that will help you recover quickly.
Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Care in Johnson County, Kansas
At Midwest Orthopaedics, P.A., your surgical experience is our utmost concern. We pride ourselves on seeing you through the process from diagnosis to recovery. Come allow us to evaluate your orthopedic or sports medicine needs. Call us at (913) 362-8317 to schedule your appointment or use our convenient online form. Your needs are our concern. Call us today!