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Question And Answers After A Total Hip Replacement

  1. What is the possibility of success?

The success of any surgery should be answered by based on three questions.

  1. Are you happy that you had the surgery?
  2. Did the surgery meet your expectations?
  3. If necessary, would you perform it again?

Normally, about 98% of the patients will say “Yes” for all three questions.

  • How long will it take for you to recover?

Everyone heals from surgery differently from another. Under normal cases, your doctor will prevent you from using crutches or walker for about 2 to 3 weeks. After that time period, you will then be allowed to move on to use a cane when you are outdoors or move without any support while you are indoors for several weeks. Slowly you will return to normal function and start walking without depending on assistive devices. This might take up to three months or longer than that.

  • When can you drive?

In case you had a surgery performed on your right hip, we recommend that you do not drive for at least 4 weeks until you feel comfortable. In case you had surgery upon your left hip, you can return to driving as soon as you start feeling comfortable if your car has an automatic transmission. In case you are driving a manual shift, wait until 4 weeks regardless of the hip. Never drive if you are still taking narcotics.

  • When can you start to travel?

You may start traveling soon after you start feeling comfortable. You have to wake up walk or stretch at least for an hour and ensure that you have enough water to prevent your body from dehydration. This is important when it comes to preventing any blood clots.

  • When can you start working?

This depends on the kind of job you have. In case the nature of your work is sedentary in nature, you can just return within 1 month. In case your work requires you to be so active, then you will have to wait for three months to start working again. In some situations, you will need more or less working hours.

  • What activities are allowed after having surgery?

You can return to most activities such as walking, dancing, gardening, golfing, etc. There are so many activities that help in enhancing motion. These include swimming and the use of a stationary bicycle. Abstain from high impact activities such as jumping and running or vigorous sports such as playing tennis.

  • How long will your entire hip last?

9 to 95% of your entire hip replacement will last for about 15 years longer. The most important factors when it comes to maintaining your hip replacement would be your level of activities and maintaining your body weight.

  • When can you start showering?

You can take your shower 4 days after having your operation. You will have steri-strips across your incision line. These will start to peel off around 2 weeks since you had your surgery. When you notice this, you can just clear the thread ice that is running from the top and bottom of the line of incision. Besides, you also notice a piece of thread that is running from the top and bottom of the line of incision. Do not attempt to trim or pull this suture. These will be absorbed, and they will eventually fall off on their own in the fourth week. Make sure that your incision line is well dried after taking a shower.

  • When can you immerse your hip completely when taking bath or swimming?

You can do that as soon as your incision is entirely healed.

  1. How long should you keep on a bandage over your incision?

After the first dressing in a hospital, you will not need to use a bandage to cover your incision. In case there is any kind of drainage, you can use a dry sterile gauze or a band-aid to protect that particular area.

  1. How long will you be using pain medication?

Normally, you will have to take pain medications for approximately 6 to 12 weeks. Initially, the medicine will be extremely strong. Make sure that you follow the doctor’s prescription so as to ensure that the medicine is effective for relieving pain. Most people cannot afford to wean off their strong medication within a month and switch to over the counter medications such as ibuprofen as well as acetaminophen.

  1. Can you go up and downstairs?

Initially, your operated leg will lead the way when coming downstairs. As your muscles start to get stronger and your motion improves, you will be able to go upstairs as you used to and this can take a month.

  1. When can you resume having sex?

Consult your physician first. Most patients just take 6 to 8 weeks to resume their sexual activities.

  1. Will, you set off the security monitors while passing through airports?

Yes, you are likely to set off the alarm. Make sure that you inform the security personnel prior to passing through the security system. Put on clothes that will allow you to show them your hip incision in case it is necessary. All you can carry a letter from your physician.

  1. When can you bend and start to pick things?

You will be in total hip precautions for 6 to 12 weeks. During this time you must not attempt to bend your hip more than 60-90 degrees. Besides, do not turn your toes in and out or cross your legs or ankles. Abstain from bending past your knees when trying to pick anything during this time. You have to consult your surgeon to know what length of time is ideal for you.

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