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Recovering from surgery to replace your hip can be long and tedious. People wonder what to expect and individual cases differ. A common outline of what most people will go through from operation to three months post is as follows:
Hip replacement recovery can be long or short, depending on a lot of differing variables. Here is a rough timeline of what you may experience:
Day of Surgery:
One to Two Days Post Surgery:
Three Days Post Hip Replacement
Four Days and Further Post Surgery
10-14 Days Post Surgery
You will get your staples taken out and should get permission for showers and baths.
3-6 Weeks Post Surgery
10-12 Weeks Post Surgery
Normal activities may be resumed at the hip replacement recovery timeline.
When you get home, there are a few things you will need to do to insure you continue your road to recovery.
Staples are used to close your incision and are removed two weeks post surgery. The area may itch and will be bruised or can be numb. You may find relief from applying an icepack to ease the burning sensation. Avoid ointments, creams and lotions in the hip area for some time. You may need to use a bandage, but you shouldn’t soak it. It’s recommended to skip showering for 48 hours after your staples are taken out.
Recovery requires you to be active. In as little as 3-6 weeks post surgery, you should be nearly back to normal with your daily routines. The first few weeks will help you learn from your therapist what exercises can help with recovery. Your doctor may recommend graduated walking and household exercises to help you regain your strength.
It’s important not to push yourself so you don’t fall. Be cautious on stairs and get help when needed. Canes, crutches, walkers or handrails may be recommended. You should have full hip movement as soon as six weeks after surgery. Your surgeon may allow you to return to work, depending and you will likely be allowed to resume sex as well.
In the first-year post surgery, you will have doctor visits and follow ups with your surgeon. You should have appointments at three weeks, six weeks, a few months, half a year and a year. Your doctor will want to see you yearly to insure you are progressing correctly.
Follow your doctor’s orders with medication. You may have non-narcotic pain pills and narcotics, injectable or oral blood thinners, anti-nausea medications and stool softeners.
Speak with your doctor about your medication, any vitamins, supplements and OTC medicine you take. Your doctor can let you know if there are any troubles.
Be vigilant against bacterial infection in the new joint. You may have antibiotics prescribed when there is a chance of infection, such as when dental work is performed. Notify your doctor if you will have dental work done and let your dentist know you’ve had a hip replacement. You may need to carry a medical alert card in case there’s an emergency to notify professionals of your artificial hip.
Your diet should return to normal by the time you return home. You may need vitamin and iron supplements. You may also be told to avoid vitamin K because of certain blood thinners. Some foods to avoid are liver, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, kale, turnip greens, soybeans and soybean oil, lentils, garbanzo beans, onions and cabbage. Limit coffee and alcohol but drink other fluids.
Continue to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids but limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Watch your weight to insure no undue strain on your healing joint.
You may get a list of dos and don’ts, depending on your surgeon. These precautions can help you heal and prevent you from damaging your new hip. Some common precautions include: