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A hip replacement includes an invasive surgical procedure that is used to remove a diseased joint, usually caused by osteoarthritis, and replace it with an artificial joint made out of either a metal or plastic component. Joint replacement surgeries carry the same risks as any other major surgery. This includes risk of infections, blood clots and weakness in the replaced joint. However, if you complete correct rehabilitation and rest the risk are reduced. If you are due to have this surgery, you may find this guide from Cappagh Hospital helpful.
It can take time for you to get used to a new hip after your surgery. Not only is there a significant reduction in the pain that you used to experience but there is also a necessity to help you overcome the bad habits you used to compensate for that pain. Physiotherapy is important for encouraging the healing process and ensuring the optimal outcome for a recovering patient. Rehabilitation following hip replacement involves getting the movement back in the hip, strengthening the muscles around the hip joint and re-educating walking pattern.
You will be given a walking aid to help your mobility after your surgery. It will reduce weight bearing on the new joint. With time you will reduce dependency on this walking aid and begin weight bearing fully on your affected leg. With this, gait or walking re-education will be one of the corner stones of your treatment. It is important to regain correct walking pattern following a hip replacement. This will incorporate weight bearing practice on the affected leg and balance exercises. After the surgery, you will experience balance issues. There will be an overall imbalance between the right and left sides of the body. This remains until the patient learns to use the new joint. Your physiotherapists is trained in addressing these exercises to help you.
Regaining range of movement and increasing strength in the muscles around the hip are also key aspects of your recovery. Your physiotherapist will help you with. Often people are anxious about moving their new joint but this is part of your rehabilitation and regaining full function. Your physiotherapist will provide you with an individualised exercise programme to focus on strengthening and creating balance between both hips. Your therapist will also advise you on appropriate activities and also some activities that may need to avoid at the beginning of your recovery.
Following a hip operation, particularly at the early stages of your rehabilitation you may find it difficult getting in and out of bed, going up and down stairs and sit to stand from a chair. These are but a few of the functional tasks that we will practice and provide you with the knowledge on how to do these correctly.
Overall, we here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic want to help you get back to normal function and feel confident in your new hip joint. Please contact the clinic to make your appointment to begin your road to recovery.