Hip replacement surgery, also referred to as hip arthroplasty, is a procedure in which your damaged hip joint is replaced with a prosthesis. It can be performed via a minimally invasive technique through different approaches, the most common of which are the posterior (from behind the hip) and the anterior (in the front of the hip).
Regardless of which surgical approach you’re going for, your recovery remains one of the important things you need to consider. To ensure successful and complete healing, you will have to closely follow your doctor’s advice. Your orthopedic surgeon will have you observe certain postoperative hip precautions, considering the limitations in your mobility and range of motion and preventing complications such as hip prosthesis dislocation.
The first six weeks after hip replacement surgery are the most challenging. Until you have fully recovered and your orthopedic surgeon has thoroughly evaluated your range of motion and mobility, make sure you avoid doing any of these things especially within the crucial timeframe.
Flexing Your Hip Past 90 Degrees
To minimize the risk of dislocating your new hip, you have to observe the 90-degree rule post-surgery. This means not bending your hip too far down or lifting your knee too high (higher than your hip). You flex your hip beyond 90 degrees when you sit down, stand up, wear socks, or try to pick up something on the floor while seated, so avoid these as much as possible.
Your physical therapist or occupational therapist will teach you how to do things and move safely without overbending to prevent hip dislocation.
Crossing Your Legs
Crossing your legs is another movement you need to avoid for a good six to eight weeks after your surgery. To keep your legs from crossing when you’re sleeping, observe the supine position (sleeping on your back).
Your surgeon may recommend that you sleep with a pillow between your legs to keep them from crossing and to make sure your hips are level.
Twisting Your Thigh Inward
The twisting movement of your thigh inward from your hip joint is called an internal rotation. To avoid this, remind yourself to observe the position of your toes, which are a good indicator of the position of the head of your new joint.
Maintain the safest position by keeping your toes pointing straight ahead, whether you’re sitting, lying down, standing, or walking.
Lying on Your Stomach or on the Affected Side of Your Body
Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this involves twisting of your hip, which can put your hip prosthesis at risk for dislocation.
Also, remember not to lie on the affected side of your body. Give it time to heal and avoid putting pressure on it.
The speed of your recovery would depend on various factors. This includes your overall health before surgery, how well you’re adhering to these precautions, and the progress of your rehabilitation, so it proves helpful to work closely with your surgeon and physical therapist. It may take anywhere from two to six months before you can completely return to doing the things that you love after a hip surgery.
Finding a Hip Replacement Orthopedic Surgeon in Clinton Township, MI
If arthritis has damaged your hip joint and caused you severe pain and limited range of motion, come in for an evaluation at Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township. Dr. Jeffrey Carroll offers direct anterior hip replacement surgery, which requires fewer hip precautions than does a posterior approach. If we find that you are a good candidate for this procedure, you could be looking at a faster and easier recovery period.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Carroll, call (586) 436-3785 or use our convenient online request form.