April 1, 2022

Life After a Hip Replacement

Hip replacements can be a lifesaver, especially for those suffering from pain for a long time. Here’s how you can speed up the healing process.

Hip replacements can have life-changing effects for patients who suffer from chronic pain and mobility issues that don’t respond to conservative treatments.

However, if you’ve just had your hip replaced with an artificial one, your journey toward a more active lifestyle hasn’t ended. Instead, it has just begun.

After your surgery, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure you get the most out of the procedure.

Below, we asked our experts at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates in East Brunswick, New Jersey to explain what you can expect after a hip replacement.

Recovery timeline

During the first few days after your surgery, our experts encourage you to use a walker for at least 20-30 minutes per day to promote blood flow and prevent the appearance of blood clots.

Healthy blood flow ensures that your tissues get enough oxygen and nutrients to heal, and movement also preserves muscle mass. The movements you make are guided by a physical therapist who teaches you how to move while avoiding pain.

A week after the surgery, our experts ask you to check for signs of infection, as you’re more prone to it during this time. Signs of infection include liquid coming from the incision, high fever, and redness.

Keep the incision dry and avoid taking showers until your stitches are removed. You can use sponges and wet tissues to keep yourself clean.

About 10 days after the procedure, your medical provider removes the stitches. A month after the procedure, you may be able to walk without a walker or crutches.

Full recovery after a hip replacement takes about a year.

Lifestyle changes after your hip replacement

There aren’t many limitations to the sports you can engage in after a hip replacement, but running usually isn’t recommended since it leads to more wear and tear on the artificial joints. However, if well-taken care of, an artificial joint can last up to 20 years.

Another factor that can reduce the lifespan of your artificial hip is weight gain. Studies found that overweight patients who lost weight after a hip replacement were more mobile and had better outcomes compared to patients who didn’t lose weight.

Learn more about living with an artificial hip

If you’re considering a hip replacement due to severe symptoms, or if you’ve already had one and don’t know how to adjust after the surgery, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our team will be more than happy to review your medical records, examine your hip, and let you know what they can do to resolve your concerns.

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