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Recovering After a Total Hip Replacement

20 May 2022

Having a total hip replacement can be daunting but after surgery and recovery the aim is to relieve pain and improve movement.

Whether you or someone in your family is looking at getting a hip replacement in Brisbane, there are some things to consider before and after surgery.

Generally recovering from a total hip replacement involves some form of hospital stay, pain relief, physiotherapy, nutrition advice and walking aids in the short-term.

We perform numerous orthopaedic surgeries at Greenslopes Private Hospital and when seeking a total hip replacement in Brisbane, it’s always best to get the advice of an experienced expert.

What is a total hip replacement? 

Most people opt for a total hip replacement when mobility and joint pain become too much to bear and other options like pain relief or therapy haven’t really worked. Doctors may suggest it if you suffer from untreatable osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hip disease or after an injury. Under anaesthetic, our specialist’s total hip replacement in Brisbane will see your orthopaedic surgeon replace the worn and damaged parts of the hip such as bone or cartilage with metal, ceramic or plastic. In a total hip replacement that involves both the ball joint and socket being replaced. The surgery generally takes a few hours.

After total hip replacement surgery

After waking up in recovery you will be given medication prescribed for pain relief and other medicines to prevent blood clots and infection. While recovery time and hospital stays vary between patients, total hip replacements generally have a good record of allowing you to become more mobile quicker, when compared to total knee replacements. Hospital therapists will visit you to give you exercises to practice while you’re in hospital and depending on your age you may also be given nutritional advice from a dietician. A physiotherapist will consult with you and likely have you up on your feet the day of or day after surgery. The sooner you are up on your feet, the faster your recovery. As with all medical procedures, listen to the experts. Don’t rush anything faster than the advice given but try to keep up with the rehabilitation timetables. Some of these exercises will be in bed, others will be with crutches or a walker once out of bed. Depending on your age and mobility, you can expect to be in hospital for about three days.

At home recovery after total hip replacement

Many orthopaedic problems like pain arise when recovery instructions are not followed as prescribed or patients try to rush their recovery. You need to be aware that it takes time to get used to your new hip and you may not be back to work as quickly as you thought. Wound care at home is critical to avoid infection as is keeping mobile to avoid clotting and pneumonia. Try to keep your weight down and focus on strengthening your joints and flexibility. Depending on your situation, you should be back to ‘normal’ in about three months.

Doctor Julian Lane is a lower limb orthopaedic specialist who can discuss your total hip replacement with you. Call our friendly team at Lane Orthopaedic Surgery today on (07) 3394 4228 to make an appointment.

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