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Activities to Avoid After Hip Replacement - Things NOT to DO

Hip replacement recovery can be a slow process for many individuals. While we would all like to be able to go to our normal ways of life before the surgery, it is important to give the surgery time and rest to recover. 

You will need to give special focus to your day-to-day activities, including your mobility and other physically demanding activities, and ensure that you do not stress the hips. You will also need to pay attention to any signs of infections or clots, such as high fever, tenderness in your knees and calf, and other concerns your doctor can point out. 

The healing process should not be rushed and must include a mix of rest and exercise post-hip replacement to ensure easy and consistent recovery.

15 Key Precautions to Observe After Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgeries can be demanding and require care. Here are some important precautions to observe post-hip replacement surgery

Follow Your Surgeon's Instructions

Listening to your doctors when you have undergone hip replacement surgery is important. The surgeons and other doctors would have spent time understanding your condition pre and post-surgery and come up with the best treatment plan for you. It is important to follow their instructions related to diet, medicines, exercises, and follow-ups to ensure that the recovery process is not hindered. This helps keep you on the right track for recovery and ensures that there are little to no complications in the future.

Avoiding Heavy Lifting and Strenuous Activities

The hip is an important body part that handles weight and mobility. It is, therefore, essential that you do not engage in lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activities after hip replacement. This prevents the muscles and joints from injury, as surgery makes them tender and more prone to injuries. Rest is vital for the body.

Taking Care of Incision Wound

Hip replacement surgeries often result in incision wounds that must be protected and kept safe. Avoid activities compromising the incision, such as pouring water or working in dusty areas. 

It is important to keep the wound clean and sterilized by changing the bandages as recommended and following protocols put in place by your doctors. An incision infection can cause significant challenges and, in some cases, pose a severe threat to health.

Avoiding High-Impact Activities

Hip replacements can be sensitive and need recovery time. It is best to avoid activities with a high impact on the hips, such as football or any form of sport. Avoid activities such as jumping, long jump, etc. Avoid activities like riding a bike, cycling, or driving a car.

Avoid Twisting or Crossing Legs

The hip muscles and joints need to undergo as little stress as possible after a hip replacement. They mustn't be strained when sitting or moving around. Avoid twisting or crossing your legs as it can strain the thigh muscles and the hips, as this can impact the strength of your hip.

Refrain from bending at the waist beyond a 90-degree angle

Bending your waist beyond 90 degrees engages the core (abdomen, thighs, and lower back). This can add stress to your waist and impact your hip bone. The hip takes most of the brunt of this action as the bones here assist the body in making that bend. It is advised not to engage in such activities to avoid any complications of hip replacement surgery and injuring the hip.

Avoid Raising Your Knees Above Hip Level

Raising the knee also adds stress to the hip and thigh muscles. This can also impact your lower back and the hip joints as it takes the brunt of the action. The stress on the thighs can injure your hip near the bones and lead to complications. It is best to avoid such strenuous activities of lifting the knee beyond your hip level.

Use Assistive Devices

The hips help distribute our body's weight and support balance and mobility. Weak hips or recovering hips can also mean poor knee balance and added weight to the knees and feet. 

This can cause you to lose balance or add stress to the hip joints, furthering your injury. It is best to use assistive devices, such as a crutch, walking stick, or even a wheelchair, to get around. This will help reduce the weight and stress on the hips and facilitate more effortless body movement.

Keep Stair Navigation Safe with Crutches

Climbing stairs can be difficult as it includes shifting weight on the hips and moving your knees at higher elevations. This can be stressful for the muscles and tendons in the hip, impacting your joints. Always use crutches or support of railings while climbing up and down stairs to ensure that the hip is not stressed and you do not lose balance.

Maintaining a Proper Sitting and Sleeping Position

After hip replacement, you will need to pay more attention to your sitting and sleeping positions, as they can create stress and strain on your hip joints and muscles. In some cases, it may impact the incision area and may cause bleeding if there is too much pressure. Be mindful of how you sit and where you sit. 

Ensure that your sitting positions are easy and comfortable and that you sleep in comfortable positions. Avoid getting up suddenly from being seated or from your sleep. Avoid sitting or sleeping in places where you may need to exert more pressure to get in or out of.

Following Medication and Rehabilitation Guidelines

Following medication and rehabilitation guidelines is as important as following the above precautions. Medicines ensure quicker recovery, reduce infection risk and strengthen your muscles and joints. It helps reduce inflammation, bleeding, and other risk factors as well. Rehabilitation ensures the muscles and hips get enough exercise and support to develop a strong and healthy musculoskeletal system post-surgery. 

Maintaining a Healthy Diet and Weight

A tricky precaution to undertake is to ensure that your weight is within the limits of the strength of your hip. Sudden weight changes can compromise the health and strength of the hips, which can have complications. 

Surgeries can be demanding, and it is important to regain some of the nutrient loss due to blood loss or tissue loss. Ensure to stay on a healthy diet that aids recovery as suggested by your doctors.

Wait for Doctor's Approval Before Driving

Driving can be exhausting and adds a lot of pressure and stress to the lower back and hips. This can be painful and lead to delayed healing, inflammation of the hip joints, and in some cases, internal bleeding near the incisions. 

It is important to get a doctor's approval to ensure you are fit to drive. They will perform a series of physical verification of the healing process and perform scans and exercises, based on which they may clear you for drinking.

Allow the Natural Healing Process to Unfold

Hip replacement, like most intensive surgeries, takes time to heal. It is a new change for the body. Give it time to understand and adapt the new changes to its functioning. Healing is slow and painful but needs to be consistent throughout the year. 

Based on the extent of the injury, ensure to be careful until the doctors clear you of all requirements to return to your day-to-day activities. Until then, be patient and kind to yourself.

Don't Neglect Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Physical therapy and rehabilitation are vital to the healing process. It aids in hip range of motion restoration and enhances overall body strength, with a particular emphasis on the hips.

Physical therapy is holistic and helps you strengthen your arms, legs, thighs, and back, all of which aid the healing process of your hip. It also helps reduce injuries in the future by improving the condition of your joints, muscles, and tendons.

Rehabilitation After Hip Surgery With Physiotattva

At Physio Tattva, our team of experts has several years of experience working with individuals across age ranges who have had hip replacement surgery. Our experts engage in comprehensive treatment and diagnosis of the condition and ensure that you get the best care possible for as long as you need. 

Look no further and contact our dedicated experts to learn more about managing your hip replacement physical therapy today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What exercises should I avoid after hip replacement surgery?

It would help if you avoided any rigorous exercises that would result in causing pain in the lower back, hip region, and legs. Avoid squats, planks, and high knees, among other exercises.

What is not allowed after hip replacement?

After hip replacement, it is important to allow the body to heal. Avoid high-impact activities, driving, dancing, and performing endurance-related activities. It is important to protect the hip from further injury due to stress.

Can you live a normal life after hip replacement?

In most cases of hip replacement, individuals can lead a normal life. This will depend on the extent of the injury, the intensity and frequency of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Can I use stairs after hip replacement?

It is advised not to use the stairs after hip replacement until you heal from the surgery. You can consult your physiotherapist or doctor to understand when you can start using stairs.

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