Jeremy Thurman on February 7, 2012
After any surgery—major or minor—the patient needs to make an effort to recover and get back to normal. This is especially true of joint surgery. Our joints are what make our bodies mobile. Without joints, we can’t walk, drive, or even properly grip things from boxes to pencils. One of the most common joint surgeries in the United States is hip replacement. As an Oklahoma Zimmer hip attorney, we help many clients who have to deal with hip surgeries gone wrong because of defective medical equipment. But whether you fall into that category or not, staying active after hip replacement is an important part of your recovery. Here are some tips to maintain your mobility.
If your doctor says you need to stay off your feet for a certain period of time after hip replacement surgery, listen to him. You may be feeling better, and undoubtedly getting antsy after being on bed rest or having to sit around all day. You want to get moving again. But do that too soon, and you run the risk of damaging your tissues that are still trying to heal after the surgery. It may be frustrating, but do what your doctor says, and wait until you get the green light before you get off the couch.
Your hip is one of the largest joints in your body. Your legs bear your body weight, and rely on your hips to maintain balance. Even if you’re used to running ten miles a day, you can’t go from the couch to the trail or track right away. Focus on walking first. Yes, it’s frustrating, but push your hip too far too fast, and you may end up right back in your doctor’s office. When you first started running, you didn’t start off at ten miles a day, right? Start slowly, and ease back into things before you try to pick up where you left off.
After a day of walking around, and maybe doing some physical therapy, your body needs time to recover. Hip replacement surgery is a major event, and your tissues and muscles need time to adjust to the new joint. Do some walking, some gentle exercise, and physical therapy if you need it. Then give yourself time to rest. Your new hip will thank you.
The worst thing you can do after hip replacement surgery is get too comfortable on that couch, and not move. If you thought your joint was stiff and sore before, become sedentary after the surgery, and the problem will be twice as bad. You have to move around as part of your recovery. Your doctor will recommend exercises for you such as standing hip abductions, knee raises, and hip extensions. Even with these mild exercises, it’s important not to overdo it.
Most of all, remember that recovering from hip replacement surgery takes time. Try not to rush it, and let your body recover at its own pace. Come to terms with the fact that you may never run ten miles a day again, but you can be just as active by swimming or riding a bike instead. Making changes to your lifestyle is a small price to pay for no longer being in pain.