Hip Precautions

Hip Precautions For After Surgery Care

If you have just had surgery on your hip, you should be taking hip precautions for at least six to eight weeks. The hip can be sensitive and painful before and after hip surgery, so there are a few things you can do to avoid further problems. You will have to allow the area to fully heal before the hip can again be used normally. In the meantime, you should take hip precautions and only exercise or use the hip, if it is recommended by your doctor or by a physical therapist. If you do end up putting pressure or straining the hip, it can damage the new surgery or it will take a longer time to fully heal.

Hip replacement surgery is done to correct problems associated with damaged joints. New joint material replaces the upper end of the femur and resurfaces the hip socket. A metal ball, metal shell and plastic liner are used to repair damaged cartilage and doctors attach these newer joints to the bones with surgical cement. Hip replacement surgery is normally performed on people who suffer from different types of arthritis. But an injury to the hip can also damage the cartilage and bones and if that is the case, this type of surgery can also be used. For after surgery care, it is important to follow the doctor’s instruction on hip precautions.

For a day or two after the surgery, you will be given medications to control pain and also to eliminate blood clots. The most important thing to do during this time is to flex the muscles in your legs to keep the blood circulating. You will have to become used to staying in one position and the doctor will give you instructions on how to keep your hips straightened and in the same area. If you do move your hips during this time, you can risk dislocating them.

With some hip replacement surgeries, you will be encouraged to get up and walk immediately. But for others types, you will have to wait six to eight weeks before you can put pressure on your hips or legs. This all depends on the severity of the surgery, how much you weight and if you are in good enough physical condition to handle the pressure. But everyone who has this type of surgery should avoid things like sitting with your legs crossed or raising your knees above your hips.  You should never bend over more than 90 degrees and this means that you cannot pick up things from the floor or even tie your own shoes. You might also want to raise the toilet seat and chairs to accommodate your inability to bend. You can do this by adding pillows to chairs or couches.

During the eighth week after surgery, you should be starting to feel better. A doctor still may not approve of rotating the hips. You should keep your toes pointed in an outward position and be careful while exiting a car, crossing your legs and rotating the legs in any way.  It can take a full six months to recover from a hip replacement surgery and hip precautions should still be taken until the doctor advises otherwise.

Always let the doctor know if you are experiencing a fever or fatigue. Pay close attention to the wound and sutures and make sure that there is no drainage or redness around the area. Until you are fully healed, always use crutches or a walker and never put pressure on your legs or hips. Make sure to follow all the instructions when it comes to physical therapy and exercise daily.