A hip replacement is a major surgery and, as such, requires careful planning before you even enter the operating room. You, your family, and your care team need to work together to obtain the best results and recovery. If all goes as planned, you can expect to go home the day of the surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you keep moving and stay away from too much rest to prevent the new joint from becoming stiff.
In cases where the patient has a preexisting condition, such as one that involves the heart or lungs, or if there is nobody available to give you a ride home, you may be kept at the hospital overnight. Also, you might benefit from spending the first days of your recovery in an inpatient rehabilitation facility.
How long can you expect the recovery to take?
In general, a hip replacement surgery is expected to take between two and four weeks to achieve recovery. But ultimately, the recovery time is as different as the patients themselves. Several factors play a role in how long you can expect the recovery to take. Among them:
- How active you were before the surgery
- Your age
- Your nutritional habits
- Any preexisting conditions
- Other lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking
If you talk to your doctor about having hip replacement surgery, ask them about pre-rehabilitation. This regime can help hip replacement candidates get in better physical shape before the surgery, thus achieving a smoother and more successful recovery.
Is there anything that may slow down the recovery?
All surgeries carry the risk of complications. This is also true for hip replacements, both during and after the surgery. Issues may include:
After surgery, look out for fever, severe pain, difficulty moving your hip, drainage from the incision site, excessive pain that does not improve with medication, and anything else that does not seem to be part of a normal recovery process. As soon as you spot any problem, reach out to your doctor immediately.
To avoid unnecessary complications, try not to make any sharp or sudden movements that may dislocate your new hip. Also, take things easy to avoid falling since this will delay your recovery.
How long do hip replacement implants last?
At one time, hip implants were made of metal, but these days, modern prosthetics can be made from plastic, ceramic, metal, or a combination. This mix of materials makes them much more durable, and they can easily last 20 or even 30 years. Also, the risk of failure is quite low, as is the need for repeat surgeries.
How long should patients wait before replacing the other hip, if needed?
These days, it is not uncommon for both hips to be replaced at the same time. It has been found that undergoing a double hip replacement might not only be safer but can lead to a quicker recovery for many patients.
If you suffer from severe arthritis, learn more here about the possibility of having a single surgery to replace both of your hips at the same time.