A total hip replacement (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure done to remove the damaged part of your hip joint and replace them with artificial joints made of metal, ceramic or very hard plastic. A partial hip replacement (hemiarthroplasty) only replaces the ball of the hip joint; the hip socket remains strong and doesn’t need to be replaced. Surgeons continue to develop less invasive techniques, which might reduce recovery time and pain. Patients with severe hip disease opt for this procedure when conservative methods have failed to reduce pain and improve function.
Risks associated with hip replacement surgery can include:• Blood clots• Infection• Fracture• Dislocation• Change in leg length• Loosening of the implants• Nerve damage (rarely)
A physiotherapist will educate you about what to expect from your surgery, and give you exercises to condition your body before surgery.This includes• Flexibility and strengthening exercises for the lower extremities• Training to use a mobility assistive device (crutches or walking frame or rollator) on level ground and navigating steps• Transfers in and out of bed/chair• Any precautions to take after surgery• Recommend changes in your house. to improve safety and help your recovery, including the use of a raised toilet seat, handrails on stairs, a bed rail, and a tub seat or grab bars in the shower. These changes ideally should be made before you have surgery, so your home is prepared for your return.• Encourage to stop smoking if applicable
After your surgery, you will be assisted in doing exercises in the hospital which you will continue doing at home to speed recovery. Your physical therapist will review any post-surgical precautions to take to prevent reinjury. As therapy progresses, you'll usually increase the weight you put on your leg until you're able to walk without assistance.
In acute care, you will be trained to• Turn in bed• Get up to a sitting position.• Get out of bed to stand and move to a chair.• Walk with the assistive device (walker or crutches) for short distances.• Perform gentle range-of-motion and strengthening exercises in bed.
Remember a few things to avoid:• Bending your new hip more than 90°.• Bend forward more than 90° (eg, you will not be able to bend over to put on your socks and shoes for a while).• Cross your leg with your new hip over the other leg.• Turn the leg with the new hip inward.
As you progress in your recovery, you will continue to work on:• Walking and stair climbing• Balance and proprioception training • Full ROM exercises • Specific muscle strengthening exercises to improve your ability to stand and walk safely and independently
When you can perform these activities without help or guidance, you will be ready to fully function at home. However, you may still need to continue physical therapy in an outpatient clinic to work on range-of-motion (movement) and stretching exercises, and weight-bearing activities to restore your function to its highest possible level.
After you leave the hospital, you'll continue physical therapy at home or at a center.
Do your exercises regularly, as instructed. For the best recovery, follow all of your care team's instructions concerning wound care, diet and exercise.