Coming Back from Hip Replacement

Hip replacement may not be as common as knee replacement, but over 300,000 people in the United States have hip replacements done every year. As the median age of the population continues to rise, those numbers will grow.

Dr. Moore is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in knee and hip replacement surgery, and he has performed hundreds of these surgeries.

Patients want to know what to expect, of course. This particularly applies to when they can “get back to normal activities.” Let’s get into that in this final blog of 2021.

Getting back to it

The key, and Dr. Moore stresses this during your consultation and after your surgery, is to not do too much too soon. This is usually what happens when patients have a more difficult time in recovery; they pushed too hard. Here are some guidelines if you are patient:

  • Weight bearing — Dr. Moore will tell you when you’re ready to put your full weight on the leg and hip. This can depend on the type of replacement you have had.
  • Driving — For most patients, they can return to driving when they are no longer taking opioid pain medication and when their strength and reflexes have returned to normal levels.
  • Sexual activity — It will be several weeks before you can resume sexual activity.
  • Sleeping positions — Dr. Moore will want you to avoid certain sleeping positions. He will want you to sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs to elevate your hip for a length of time.
  • Work — Your return to work depends on your job, as you would assume. This means desk jockeys could return in possibly just several days, while strenuous or physical work would need several weeks before returning.
  • Sports and exercise — For sports participants and exercise aficionados, this is the question they want to know. After your course of physical therapy and probably riding a stationary bike, Dr. Moore will clear you for various sports and activities.
    • Walk as much as you like.
    • Swimming can resume as soon as the wound is healed.
    • Low impact sports such as golf, swimming, bowling, pleasure horseback riding, stationary cycling, ballroom dancing, and low-impact aerobics will be fine moving forward.
    • High stress sports, such as hockey, jogging, mogul skiing, soccer, rock climbing, and the like are discouraged. There is too much chance that the artificial joints will wear out, break down, or loosen. These sports will likely shorten the lifespan of your new hip.
    • Mid-level sports such as tennis, moderate snow skiing, recreational cycling, backpacking, and softball are all somewhere in the middle ground. There will be more impact, but it won’t necessarily be enough to hasten the degradation of your artificial hip. If you choose to resume these sports/activities, you need to understand there is a possibility you will shorten the lifespan of your new hip.

Are you dealing with chronic hip pain? If the pain is infringing on your quality of life, it may be time to begin the process of considering hip replacement. Call Dr. Moore at Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Center, (910) 295-0224, and let’s talk.

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