Hip Revision Recovery Time and Ways to Shorten It

Total hip arthroplasty or total hip replacement is a surgical procedure that involves implanting an artificial hip joint to replace a damaged or arthritis joint. The surgery is quite effective in relieving pain associated with your arthritic hip joint. It also improves your overall quality of life. However, it is possible for hip replacements to fail or 'wear out' due to a number of reasons. If that happens, you will require a hip revision surgery. You can take certain steps to shorten hip revision recovery time and improve your chances of getting rid of pain successfully.

Why Should You Consider Hip Revision Recovery?

You need a hip revision surgery to replace a loose, worn out, infected, or painful prosthesis. The main purpose of this surgery is to improve function while relieving pain and enhancing overall quality of life. You may require hip revision surgery if:

  • Your prosthesis has worn out.
  • You have bone loss around your prosthesis, which happens when implant particles are released after it wears out.
  • Your prosthesis is loose. It is possible for an implant to become loose over time and hip revision surgery will help fix the issue.
  • Your prosthesis is not stable enough and causes recurrent dislocation.
  • Your prosthesis has become infected.

Most people opt for hip revision surgery when they have discomfort or pain in the hip that significantly limits function. You should talk to your doctor and ask them if another surgery is going to help improve your pain or other complications you may be experiencing.

How Long Is the Hip Revision Recovery Time?

It may take up to 6 months until you could walk without a limp.

You will require a period of adjustment after your surgery to see some positive results. During your recovery, you should continue to exercise your legs. This will help reduce swelling. You may also consider elevating your legs about your heart level to reduce swelling.

It is important to use a walker after your surgery. It means that you will find it difficult to perform normal activities such as climbing stairs or getting into a car. Your doctor will take X-rays of your affected leg to confirm that your hip is healing just fine.

Tips and Precautions to Shorten Hip Recovery Time

 You will have to practice some care after undergoing hip replacement or revision surgery. Here are some precautions to shorten hip revision recovery time.

1. Take Care When Resting

After your surgery, you should avoid sleeping on the side that has been operated. This should continue for 4-6 weeks after your surgery. Keeping a pillow between your legs will also provide you with some support while sleeping. You may experience pain if you lie on your operative side and it also increases risks of other complications.

2. Avoid Sexual Activity for Some Time

You should avoid engaging in sexual activities for at least 3 weeks after your surgery. You can work with your healthcare provider to determine the best sex positions. Be sure to follow your doctor's advice to avoid dealing with any problem.

3. Be Careful When Dressing

Soon after your surgery, you will have to use a long shoehorn with a dressing stick to ensure you do not have to lift your knee higher than your hip. Work with your doctor to learn the safest way to put on and take off your socks, shoes, and pants.

4. Learn the Correct Way to Use Stairs

You will have to work with your physical therapist to learn the correct way to go up and down stairs. They will teach you how to use crutches or handrails when climbing stairs. Whenever you have to go up or down stairs, be sure to use your good leg first and then use your other leg.

5. Avoid Using an Overhead Shower

When you want to take a bath, you should avoid using an overhead shower. Similarly, it is important to avoid getting into the tub to take a bath. You need to avoid bending at the hips or you will injure yourself. It is always better to take a sponge bath for as long as possible.

6. Learn to Use Your Crutches Right

During your hip revision recovery time, you will have to use a walker or crutches to walk. Ensure that you know how to use it properly. Your physical therapist will help you in this regard. Do not stop using your crutches until your doctor tells you to. Your doctor will check if your injured leg has healed enough to handle most of your body weight. So, keep using that walker until you get a green signal from your doctor to use a cane.

7. Pay Attention to Your Diet

It is important to follow a balanced diet and exercise plan. You should eat well-balanced meals thrice a day and exercise according to what your physical therapist has taught you. And do not forget to keep your legs elevated when sitting or lying to help minimize swelling.

8. Avoid Driving After Surgery

You should not drive for at least 8 weeks after your surgery. In fact, you should avoid traveling by car for at least 3 weeks following surgery. To get in the car, you should park it away from the curb and then enter by putting your back into the car first. Sit in the front seat, so you could keep your legs straight.

What about Follow-Up Appointments?

You should not miss your follow-up appointments because your doctor will examine everything to confirm that you are recovering well.

You will have to schedule your first appointment within the first 4-6 weeks of surgery. You should also go for a check-up 3-6 months after the date of surgery, then one year after the date of surgery, and finally once every year on the anniversary date of surgery. You will have to go for hip X-rays after regular intervals.

Do not wait for your regular follow-up appointment if you feel any pain or have other issues. You should call your doctor immediately.

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