Things You Need to Know to Help You Recover from Hip Replacement Surgery
You’ll need a change of lifestyle after a knee or hip replacement surgery. Making the necessary changes will keep your new hip safe and speed up the recovery process. You may not be able to do a lot of things the way you used to, but the good thing is that it gets better each day. Furthermore, you won’t be dealing with the pain and the only thing you’ll have to focus on is the healing process.
You are likely to be in hospital for at most 5 days depending on how successful the surgery was. Before they discharge you they will have to ensure that you can at least get out of bed on your own, use the bathroom and perform some simple movements. Your doctor will obviously advice you on what to do after surgery. Keep this in mind as you head home.
Prepare your home
You need to ensure that your home is well prepared to help you easily maneuver around the house. This could mean rearranging your furniture, getting rid of clutter and placing items that you frequently use in convenient places that are easy to reach. You’ll also have to get rid of throw rugs or other items that can cause slip and fall accidents.
Taking care of the wound
The area has to be properly taken care of to prevent infection. You can do this by cleaning the wound as advised in the hospital. If you will be changing the dressing on your own, make sure you ask them to show you how it is done before leaving the hospital. Follow the instructions on how long you need to expose the wound to water. In case it starts bleeding or draining, you need to consult your doctor immediately.
Take measures to minimize swelling
Swelling is common after hip replacement surgery. In order to reduce swelling, you can use ice therapy on the wound but be careful not to apply the ice directly on your skin because the area is still sensitive. Severe swelling shouldn’t be taken lightly as it could be a sign of infection.
What you should eat after surgery
Your diet is a very integral part of recovery. Iron and vitamin supplements can really be beneficial but make sure you consult your doctor first. You also need to drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages. Stay away from fatty foods because when you gain excess weight, you risk putting pressure on the joints and causing further problems.
What you need to avoid
There are certain physical movements that may damage your new hip or interfere with the healing process. Taking the necessary procedures will help you maintain your new hip in perfect condition. For a start, you need to avoid leaning forward when you sit down or raising your knee up higher than your hip. Do not bend the waist and strain your hip or reach down to pull your blankets when you sleep. Some of these movements can cause pain and dislocate the new joint.
Look out for signs of infection
Like all other surgeries, hip and knee replacement has certain risks of infection. If you notice persistent fever, increased redness or tenderness on the operated area, contact your doctor immediately. Visit the doctor if you experience pain or any drainage from the wound.
Practice only safe exercises. Skimping on workout is not advised because your muscles need to adjust to the new hip. To reduce swelling and enhance flexibility apply heat before you start exercising. It will help you to perform a wide range of motions.