You're getting ready to have a total hip replacement and will be recovering at home. This is a common surgical procedure, but each person recovers at their own rate and experiences their own challenges. To make your recovery as smooth as possible, here are some tips on how to prepare for your recovery and what to expect while you're at home.
1. Arrange To Have Support At Home
One of the benefits of recovering at home is that you're in familiar surroundings with friends and family to help you. You will find that the first weeks of recovery will be stressful and having professional help around will make this period smoother. For the first few weeks, have a home health nurse available in your home during the day. They will help you ease into your routines at home, keep you focused on your physical therapy and answer the dozens of little questions you and your family will have about such things as your medications, diet, and activity level.
2. Understand Your Own Pain Management Needs
As your hip heals and you begin physical therapy, there will be some pain. By properly managing your pain medications, you can schedule doses before your exercise and therapy so you'll have minimal discomfort during and after the sessions. This is another good reason for having the support of a home health nurse during the first weeks at home. They can make sure that your pain is under control so you'll be encouraged to do the therapy as prescribed.
3. Follow The Weight Bearing And Movement Instructions Precisely
Depending on the type of total hip procedure your orthopedic doctor performed, you'll leave the hospital with either full or partial weight bearing on your hip. You'll also have a set of instructions to follow to make sure you don't overdo it with your new hip. While it is healing, too much pressure or moving it at too great of an angle can cause problems, including a dislocated hip joint. Some of the movement instructions will include:
- Don't use low or soft chairs or sofas that force you to sit with your hip at more than a right angle to your pelvis.
- Have the physical therapist and home health nurse show you how to get up straight from sitting so that you don't lean forward and put your hip at an extreme angle.
- You can cross your legs at your ankles but never at your knees.
- Never bend forward at your waist to pick up something while your hip is healing.
4. Keep Your Legs Apart When Sleeping
Go to sleep with a pillow between your legs to prevent you from crossing your legs at night. This keeps your new hip at the proper position while healing. Special orthopedic cushions are available that are form-fitting to your legs to help them stay in place throughout the night. For more information, contact a professional like those at First In Care Home Health Agency Inc.