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Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is a very invasive surgery and the recovery process can be painful and long. It is important for patients to understand the process before surgery so they know what to expect.
In the Hospital
Patients are usually in the hospital following hip replacement surgery for three to four days. During this time, patients have physical therapy one to two times a day. After leaving the hospital, a hip transplant patient will visit the physical therapist three to four times weekly.
Pain medication following surgery is given and should be taken as directed by the doctor. Many patients are so afraid of becoming addicted to pain medication, they fail to take it often enough. The pain itself can then slow the recovery process.
Patients are taught before they leave the hospital how to care for their incision wound. This area is stapled together. The staples are removed about two weeks following discharge from the hospital. The area around the incision will be bruised for a while.
It may itch, or may feel numb, or burn. An ice pack used for 10 to 15 minutes can relieve the burning sensation. The area needs to be kept dry until the staples are removed. Patients are instructed to avoid taking a shower until two days following the removal of the staples.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
It is very important to be physically active following surgery, in a prescribed way. The physical therapist will instruct the patient on what exercises can be done to strengthen the hip. Learning what movements can be attempted when, and what postures must be maintained are part of physical therapy.
Appropriate physical activities would be gradually learning to walk and do regular household activities to increase strength. Devices including a cane, crutches, a walker and hand rails are used when appropriate. Occupational therapists help with learning to wash, dress and do other tasks at home.
At about six weeks following surgery, when the patient regains full hip movement, he or she can begin to drive. Some patients are allowed by their doctor to return to work, although this will depend upon how strenuous the job and how able the patient is to do it.
Follow up care consists of visiting the surgeon at about three weeks, six weeks, three months, six months and 12 months after the surgery. Then the patient sees their surgeon once a year for an annual evaluation.
Preparing For Surgery and Recovery
It is important to understand what will be involved with recovery even before having surgery. Being an active participant in asking questions, understanding what is involved, listening well to the advice or doctors and nurses all help to make recovery easier.
Being prepared emotionally for what will follow makes a big difference in how well and quickly a patient is able to recover. It is important for the patient to reduce outside distractions, such as taking on a new project, to a minimum. Understanding all aspects of what is involved with the surgery as well as recovery is essential.
Being prepared to experience pain, knowing that it can be controlled by medication, understanding that recovery takes a lot of hard work, and being able to look forward to return to normal activities help with the recovery process.
Contact a defective hip attorney today to find out if your hip replacement failure case is eligible for compensation.