Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a doctor surgically removes a painful hip joint with arthritis and replaces it with an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components. It usually is done when all other treatment options failed in providing the adequate relief from pain.
Hip replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common. Around 3lakhs surgeries occur every year in the United States of America and this number is anticipated to get doubled by 2030. Despite the pervasiveness of the hip replacement surgeries today, it is always thoughtful to know the things to expect once your surgery is over. After your hips replacement surgery, physical therapy is very important. It helps restore range of motion and build muscles. Well, let us move ahead to know why is physical therapy important for the success of your hip replacement surgery.
Need of Physical Therapy after Hip Replacement Surgery
When a surgeon successfully replaces your hip joint during the hip replacement surgery, you are only left with getting relief from your hip pain. The next move is to restore the range of motion in the joint and build a strong support for your new joint by strengthening your leg muscles. And this is where physical therapy comes to the fore.
When you are healing from a surgery, it is very important to work with a physical therapist as far as your hip’s range of motion is concerned. There is a particular time frame after the surgery which is usually a few weeks that varies from person to person- in which you have to restore the range of motion in your new hip replaced. After the surgery, people are afraid to get up, and might get healed when sitting down. Well, if that happens; you could have trouble going up stairs or doing other activities. Physical therapy, here, lowers the risk of dislocation of your new joint by strengthening the muscles in your leg. This helps in keeping your artificial hip in place after surgery. You must know that the risk of dislocation of your hip is highest during the first 6-8 weeks afterward.
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What to Expect from Physical Therapy after Hip Replacement Surgery?
The first physical therapy session usually happens the day after surgery, while you are still in the hospital. Your therapist will help you walk with your new replaced joint. It all depends on the type of surgery you have had will determine the amount of weight you can actually put on your hip.
Your therapist might even give you exercises which you can do in bed in order to avoid blood clots, like tightening of your thighs, squeezing your buttocks, or moving your feet up and down. At this stage, it is very significant to manage your pain with medications so that you do not face any problem in getting up and then moving around.
After the hip replacement surgery, you will probably be looking forward to going home and living your life without the hip pain you had before. But this is not just enough; you will have to learn how to move to safeguard your new joint. And this will require regular physical therapy visits for some time.
A physical therapist an teach you how to get in and out of the car, in and out of the bathtub, and how to tie your shoes without posing any problem to your hip. Moreover, your physical therapist will also suggest various devices to help you out like a shower seat, a raised toilet seat, and also a long-handled shoehorn.
After your hips replacement surgery, you will be feeling pain and stiffness, but working with a physical therapist will help you minimize your discomfort in the coming weeks. Once your doctor gives you a green signal, stay active by swimming, dancing, and riding a bike on level surfaces. You must avoid putting too much stress on your joint by jogging or jumping. And apart from it, it is not at all a good idea to carry heavy weights, particularly if you are going up and down the stairs.
However, in the future if your pain is keeping you from getting around your normal daily activities, or if you are facing problems with balance that could compromise to your safety, its always viable to visit a physical therapist.
About Author: Dr. Scott Gray
Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury, go to www.backinmotionsspt.com.