Those who are advised to take a hip replacement surgery always tend to be anxious about the recovery period. It is natural as a new mechanical part is introduced in the body made of bone and flesh. There are always uncertainties and apprehensions about how it would get accustomed to the actual body system of the patient. After the doctors have done their task, the ball comes to the patient’s court and it depends totally on him or her to handle it. In such a scenario, the questions about the hip replacement recovery are bound to arise. Some of these questions can be:
- How long after the surgery does one get discharged?
Normally, the patients are discharged within four to five days of the surgery. However, the patients who show speedy recovery may even be discharged sooner than that.
- How long is the recovery period?
The recovery period for a hip replacement surgery normally lasts up to six weeks. This time includes the bed rest phase and lasts until the patient starts walking properly without any kind of support.
- What are the various stages in this hip replacement recovery period?
The six weeks of recovery are divided into six phases. These can be explained week by week. The first week is devoted to complete bed rest, wherein the patient recovers from the surgery, and the wound and the stitches are healed. In the second week, that is the second phase of the recovery, the patient is given physical therapy. This helps to introduce the minor movements of the hip to the newly introduced part and lets the body muscles learn to work in association with it.
The next phase of the recovery, the third one is where the patient starts walking with the crutches. One starts slowly, and ends up practicing walking for longer durations by the time this phase is over. It is in the next stage that the crutches are replaced with a cane or stick. This is again a support, but not as strong as a crutch. The idea is to slowly take back the supports and make the patient get back on his or her feet in the next phase. The fifth phase is devoted to making the patient walk without any support and slowly get back to the normal activities. By the end of the last or the sixth phase, the patient should have resumed his or her normal activity schedule. However, this recovery routine can differ for every patient depending upon the conditions.
- How often does one have to meet the doctor after the surgery?
In normal cases, the patients are asked to meet the doctor 6-12 weeks after the discharge. However, in cases where some signs like increased pain in the newly replaced joint, swelling or other unusual signs about which you have not been informed appear, you might have to meet the doctor early. After the hip replacement recovery period is over and the patients come back to the normal routine, they are also told to take a five year x-ray of the hip to keep a track of its position and ensure that it has not dislocated under any circumstances.
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