Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a damaged hip joint is replaced with a prosthesis. To ensure proper healing following the procedure, it is important to follow Dr. Larson’s advice including certain hip precautions, considering limitations in your mobility of range of motion, and preventing complications such as hip dislocation.
Recovery will begin as soon as your procedure is finished. Depending on a few things, your hospital stay can range from an outpatient procedure to a stay of a few days. Below are some activities that Dr. Larson will want to ensure you can do before allowing you to leave the hospital:
- Getting in and out of bed by yourself.
- Having acceptable pain control.
- Being able to perform activities such as eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom by yourself.
- Walking with an assistive device such as a cane or walker.
- Being able to perform the prescribed at-home exercise.
Once you have the approval to leave the hospital, the first six weeks after hip replacement surgery become the most challenging. Until you have fully recovered and Dr. Larson has thoroughly evaluated your range of motion and mobility, make sure you avoid participating in any of these activities within this 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. This involves avoiding bending your hip too far down or lifting your knee too high.
- 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 while sleeping, try sleeping on your back. Dr. Larson may recommend sleeping 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 is called internal rotation. To avoid this, remind yourself to observe the position with your toes. Keep your toes pointed straight ahead, whether you’re sitting, lying down, standing, or walking.
- Lying on your stomach or the affected side of your body. Sleeping on your stomach involves twisting your hip which can put your new prosthesis at risk for dislocation. Sleeping on the affected side adds unnecessary stress on a healing joint. Try sleeping on your back if possible, or on your other side, unaffected by the procedure.
If arthritis has damaged your hip joint and caused pain and limited range of motion, scheduling a consultation with Dr. Larson may be your first step in the direction towards pain management. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Larson, give our office a call at 435-774-8512.