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Hip Replacement Rehabilation tips
Approximately 234,000 hip replacement surgeries are reported by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons each year, and those numbers are expected to rise by 174% in the next 20 years as the baby boomer population ages. It’s important to know what you can do to help yourself or your loved one have the best recovery outcome.
The success of your loved one’s surgery depends a great deal on close adherence to his or her healthcare provider’s instructions during the recovery period. It’s crucial that the new hip be adequately protected and the surrounding muscle tissue strengthened to ensure proper functioning of the new hip.
Since hip replacement is a major surgery, it requires that those who have it arrange for help with daily living activities post-surgery, to allow the hip to heal properly. For those who do not have the convenience of an at-home family member to help through the healing process, in-home care or a full-time rehabilitation center care can be arranged.
Here’s what you can do to prepare for your loved one’s hip replacement surgery post-op care:
Arrange items he or she uses frequently (like those in the kitchen and bathroom) for ease of access, taking care that he doesn’t have too reach up too high or bend down too low in order to do the basics for himself.
Remove rugs or any other items that may sit near or in the walkway that could cause a fall.
Minimize the amount of walking up and down the stairs he’ll need to do by moving the bedroom, television and other items
that are needed regularly to the ground level in the home, until the hip has healed.
Avoid overly low-seated or soft cushions, as these can put a strain on a healing hip. Try to arrange for a higher seated chair to be in a convenient location for your loved one post surgery. Be sure that it is both comfortable and easy to get on and off of.
Install a raised toilet seat or purchase a high-seated freestanding commode chair (which can be dumped into the toilet) to be used during healing. This can also double as a shower chair.
Look into installing a grab bar or a high-seated shower chair to help keep your family member safe while tending to his daily hygiene needs.
Set up a convenient, easy-to-reach “recovery station”. Medicine, tissues, a water glass or bottle and a covered water pitcher can be placed there, along with regularly used items like remote controls for TV and DVD players, the telephone, and any other items that are important on a daily basis. Also include entertainment, such as computers, puzzles, crosswords and books.
Stock up on easy-to-prepare-and-eat food supplies. Make easy-to-freeze and reheat meals in advance for your loved one’s recovery period.
Be sure he gets adequate rest, allowing his hip to heal. Doing too much, too quickly can spell disaster for the healing process.
Watch for signs of infection or complications like clotting. If you notice any of the following warning signs, report to a physician immediately: a fever above 100 degrees, redness, hotness, or swelling at the site, shortness of breath, or leg or chest pain. Individuals with the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II medical devices are at risk for complications associated with fretting or corrosion at the modular neck junction.
Make sure he is following up with physical therapy and following directions for intensity and frequency of exercises. Also, be sure to pay careful attention to instructions about hip positioning, so that you can remind your loved one.
Acquire a long-handled “reacher” to allow him to grab things beyond his immediate reach, saving strain on the hip.
Install nightlights and crate or gate off small household animals at night, to minimize tripping hazards.
Encourage him to wear shoes and slippers with non-slip, traction soles to ensure stability at all times.
Though a hip replacement is a major surgery, it’s one that, with the right attitude and adherence, can bring much needed relief and put a new spring back into your loved one’s step. We hope these tips will help you and your family member with the recovery process.
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