Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on hip replacement recovery:
What kind of pain medication will I be able to take after my procedure?
After surgery, a simple oral pain medication is often needed to relieve moderate levels of pain. Since pain levels differ from patient to patient, your surgeon will need to assess your condition to determine which type of medication is best for you. A short-term supply of pain medication is often prescribed to aid in your recovery time at home.
What will my post-surgery pain be like?
You can expect some level of pain coming out of a major hip replacement surgery; however, your post-surgery pain is often manageable. Post-surgery also offers relief from the chronic hip complaint you experienced prior to the procedure. After surgery, the pain is most pronounced in the first few days, and then begins to subside. To keep you comfortable, your physician will determine what type of medication you will need to manage your pain.
How active should I be?
Like physical therapy, being active is very helpful to speed up your recovery. You are encouraged to perform moderate exercises soon after your procedure, usually after a few days into your recovery at home. To regain strength and flexibility, all the muscles and tendons of the hip joint need regular movement. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how active you should be to protect your new hip.
What types of exercise should I expect to do?
Your surgeon will provide materials and instructions on the type of exercises to perform. At first, you will do simple exercises, such as contracting and relaxing your muscles to strengthen your hip. Soon after, you will be taught new techniques for movements such as sitting, standing and bending. Proper performance of these activities will prevent possible damage to your new hip. Avoid any exercise that produces pain or discomfort in the joint region.
How soon can I return to normal activities of daily living?
Your recovery time is dependent on achieving all the major milestones set in the first six weeks after your surgery. Recovery milestones may include walking without the use of assistive devices, freedom from pain medication, ability to dress yourself and the return of restful sleep. These progressive milestones signal your ability to function at home, independently.