The Hip Replacement Journey and Short-term Rehabilitation

Senior woman looking at hip replacement X-Ray.

 

The odds are that by the time you become a senior, you’ll  know at least one person who has had a hip replacement. According to Harvard Health, an estimated 300,000 hip replacements are performed each year in the U.S., and that number is expected to continue climbing. 

If you or a loved one requires a hip replacement, it’s essential to understand the process. Knowing in advance what to expect will help set you up for success and ensure you have a positive outlook going into surgery and throughout the recovery process. 

 

Pre-habilitation for Hip or Joint Replacement Surgery

Most surgeries don’t require much from you before your procedure other than scheduling the day and arranging for reliable transportation. But, when it comes to hip or joint replacements, prehab has been shown to assist patients in regaining some physical strength and functional fitness before the surgery. 

The benefits of prehab for hip replacements are numerous. Not only can it help you  get a jumpstart on recovery, but it can also help your body stay in shape while you’re  in rehabilitation and experiencing limited mobility post-operatively. 

 

Hip or Joint Replacement Recovery Timeline

During a hip replacement procedure, portions of your hip joint that have been damaged by disease are removed and replaced with metal, plastic or ceramic parts. Most commonly, hip and joint damage are caused by osteoarthritis. The procedure usually takes only  a few hours, and most patients are free to go home within a day or two after the procedure. 

Once you’re  out of surgery, the recovery journey can begin almost immediately. Recovering from a hip replacement can seem daunting, but within just a day or two of your surgical procedure, you should be up and moving around. 

The standard protocol in most instances is for patients to have two weeks of recovery and at-home rehabilitation before starting outpatient physical therapy. Therapy typically lasts anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on the progress of the individual patient. 

Walking has been shown to be the most beneficial form of therapy for individuals recovering from a hip replacement, as sitting too long can make the joints feel stiff and inflexible. 

 

Long-Term Recovery After Hip Surgery 

In most cases, patients can resume their normal lifestyle within three to six months after surgery. While they may not be able to run with their new hip in place, many cardiovascular exercises are considered beneficial for further recovery and an enhanced lifestyle. 

Some beneficial physical activity post-surgery includes: 

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Rowing 

Having any type of surgery is scary, but with the right surgeon and a solid recovery plan in place, hip replacement surgery can improve your quality of life and offer you the chance to become more physically active without pain. 

 

Rehabilitation at Cypress Village

Feel better faster after illness, injury, or a hospital stay at the short-term care and rehabilitation center at Cypress Village. Our skilled senior rehabilitation team members are experts in treating senior adults.  Our goal is to help you reach your goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Let us help you find your best route to recovery. Learn more about senior rehabilitation at Cypress Village.