Important things to remember in the first six weeks after your surgery which the physiotherapist and nursing staff will educate you about…Hip Replacement
Sleeping position for hip replacement patients
In the first six weeks following hip replacement it is advised that you sleep on your back as this reduces the risk of dislocation. However, if you are uncomfortable in this position you may sleep with a pillow between your legs.
Wearing anti-embolic stockings helps reduce the risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Swelling is also an issue after surgery and the stockings will help to decrease the swelling in your lower legs. The stockings are recommended to be worn until you are mobilising comfortably and any swelling you have experienced has subsided. If you have any concerns regarding your stockings, please contact the nurse at our practice and they will be happy to discuss this issue.
On discharge from hospital your wound will have a waterproof dressing placed on it. This remains intact for two weeks from the surgery date. Sutures are usually dissolving, and do not require removal. If you have any concerns about your wound or if you feel unwell, you should contact your family doctor or the nurse consultant at our rooms.
Hydrotherapy is an excellent way to exercise your new joint without putting undue stress on your body. It is recommended that you wait until your wound is completely healed before you commence hydrotherapy.
Rehabilitation is a treatment method designed to facilitate recovery after a serious injury, illness or surgery. It is aimed at restoring the physical, psychological and social function of patients.
The goal of a rehabilitation program varies depending on your needs but is aimed at achieving a quick recovery. These programs assist the patient to return to normal life through therapy or training.
The most common and immediate treatment modality that provides relief from pain is the RICE treatment comprised of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The RICE treatment is used for acute injuries such as sprains, strains, bruises, and contusions. Crutches, splints, or wheelchairs are used as immobilizers to provide support and prevent movement of injured joints. A rehabilitation program often includes stretching and bending exercises, massage, stability exercises, physiotherapy, heat therapy and much more.
Various techniques employed in a rehabilitation program have significance of their own in improving physical performance and restoring you to normal activities.
Practicing several measures may help you obtain better results from the rehabilitation program
You need to move your joint after surgery so it is a good idea to participate in a rehabilitation program.
After your hospitalisation you have a few options.
Fast Track Rehabilitation
You should refrain from driving for at least six weeks following your joint replacement. When you get to the six-week mark, think about the possibility that a pedestrian could run in front of your vehicle. Would you be able to stop in time? If you feel you could not react quickly enough, wait a little longer. Always start driving on a quiet street or parking area, to regain confidence controlling the vehicle.
Domestic flights can be taken approximately three weeks following your surgery. Due to the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) international flights are not recommended for three months after surgery. Security at airports will do their own checks to confirm joint replacement. You do not require any formal documentation.
Gentle exercise such as walking is recommended in the six weeks following your surgery. Most patients return to other sporting activities, such as golf, approximately 2-3 months after surgery. If you have any questions about what sport to return to and whether it is safe to do so, please contact our rooms.
Follow up appointments
Your first visit will be usually be scheduled 10 days after minor procedures such as arthroscopy. For joint replacement patients, post-operative visits will usually occur at six weeks following surgery. Dr Zicat’s practice nurse will call you once you are home to check on your progress and make the follow up appointment.
Joint replacements are mechanical devices and it is recommended that they be followed up with x-rays at 6 months, 2 years, then every 5 years after this.