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  • Writer's picturejacob sciacca

What to Expect: Total Hip Replacement Treatment

Total hip replacement surgery is a significant procedure often performed to relieve pain and improve function in individuals with severe hip damage. Understanding the treatment and rehabilitation process is crucial for a successful recovery. This blog will provide an overview of what to expect before, during, and after a total hip replacement.

Total hip replacement involves removing the damaged hip joint and replacing it with an artificial implant. This procedure is commonly performed to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and hip fractures. The surgery typically lasts a few hours and requires a hospital stay of several days.

Pre-Surgery Preparation:

  • Medical Evaluation: A thorough medical evaluation, including blood tests, imaging studies, and physical assessments, will be conducted to ensure you are a suitable candidate for surgery.

  • Preoperative Instructions: You will receive instructions on fasting, medications, and other preparations for the day of surgery.

  • Prehabilitation: Engaging in prehabilitation exercises to strengthen the muscles around the hip can improve postoperative outcomes.

Post-Surgery Care:

  • Hospital Stay: You will stay in the hospital for a few days post-surgery for monitoring and initial rehabilitation.

  • Pain Management: Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed to manage postoperative pain.

  • Wound Care: Instructions on how to care for the surgical wound to prevent infection.

Physiotherapy Goals: Rehabilitation after total hip replacement focuses on restoring mobility, strength, and function while minimising pain.

  1. Early Mobilisation:

  • Day of Surgery: You will likely begin moving and walking with the aid of a physiotherapist on the day of surgery or the next day.

  • Assistive Devices: Use of walkers or crutches to aid in walking and prevent falls.

  1. Initial Rehabilitation:

  • Range of Motion Exercises: Gentle exercises to improve flexibility and prevent stiffness.

  • Strengthening Exercises: Exercises targeting the muscles around the hip to restore strength and stability.

  1. Advanced Rehabilitation:

  • Functional Exercises: Progress to more advanced exercises that mimic daily activities, such as climbing stairs and getting in and out of chairs.

  • Balance and Coordination: Exercises to improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls.

Rehabilitation Exercises:

  • Ankle Pumps: Improve circulation and prevent blood clots.

  • Quadriceps Sets: Strengthen the thigh muscles.

  • Heel Slides: Improve hip and knee flexibility.

  • Hip Abductions: Strengthen the hip muscles.

  • Bridging: Strengthen the lower back and gluteal muscles.

Long-Term Recovery:

  • Follow-Up Visits: Regular follow-up visits with your surgeon to monitor progress and address any concerns.

  • Continued Physiotherapy: Ongoing physiotherapy sessions to ensure continued improvement and address any issues that arise.

  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes, such as weight management and low-impact exercises, to maintain hip health.

A successful recovery from total hip replacement surgery involves a comprehensive rehabilitation program that includes early mobilisation, strengthening exercises, and functional training. Working closely with your physiotherapist and adhering to your rehabilitation plan will help you achieve the best possible outcomes. If you’re considering or scheduled for a total hip replacement, understanding the treatment process and committing to your rehab plan are key to a smooth and successful recovery.

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