When you have a hip replacement, you may need care in a nursing home for a few weeks for rehabilitation. You will start moving within a day or two after your surgery, but this is going to be a slow process. It takes about 12 weeks of rehabilitation services after your surgery to get back to your recreational activities, and some individuals may take up to six months to fully recognize their healing.
With a new hip in place, the goal is to learn how to walk, restore mobility and strength to your hip. You will gain the mobility and range of motion you need with the help of a physical therapist and your treatment team. The following can help you anticipate what rehabilitation services can do for you after your surgery.
Your First Days After Surgery
You may be surprised to learn that you are going to start walking almost immediately after your hip replacement surgery. You will probably use a walker unless you have good upper body strength and can use crutches. You will walk with the assistance of a therapist to start strengthening your hip and leg right away. Movement is good for your new hip, but rehabilitation needs to happen with the help of a therapist to strengthen and restore your mobility correctly.
Pay Attention to Your Exercises
The work of rehabilitation is ongoing after a hip replacement. While you will spend time with a therapist working on mobility, strengthening and stretching, you have to pay attention to the exercises you are taught. You will work on stretching and exercises on your own, in between sessions with your therapist. When you are trying to heal from your hip replacement, you have to do the work assigned to you when the therapist isn't watching.
Be Mindful of Your Pain Levels
If an exercise is too painful, you are pushing yourself a bit too far. Talk with your rehabilitation specialist if you have pain during certain exercises. While a little stiffness and pain are expected, you don't want to be in excruciating pain while you are trying to recover from hip replacement surgery. You will need to listen to your body, and progress is going to take time to heal.
Recovery after a hip replacement can take up to six months. When you work closely with your treatment team, your recovery should go smoothly. Pay attention to exercises, and do the work you need to in between sessions for more effective healing.