Hip replacement surgeries are a common procedure. In fact, reports show that 450,000 total hip replacements occur each year in the United States. However, only 15-20% of them involve the anterior approach, meaning your surgeon approaches your joint repair from the front of your hip instead of the back.
Although both hip replacement procedures offer numerous benefits, anterior techniques use significantly smaller surgical incisions and cause far less trauma to soft tissue in the area. They also come with shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, less pain, and fewer risks of complications. But the best part? They usually come with few, if any, post-surgical precautions.
Dr. Eric E. Johnson is a talented orthopaedic trauma specialist offering anterior hip replacement procedures at his clinic in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Even though you can expect to be back on your feet faster with this approach, Dr. Johnson recommends following these four recovery tips to support the healing process.
Anterior hip replacement surgeries may have shorter recovery times, but they still involve surgery and incisions. That means that you can expect to have some pain and discomfort, along with reduced mobility while you heal.
To make your recovery at home go as smoothly as possible, Dr. Johnson suggests making adjustments to your home. These types of changes include:
Even cleaning your house, going to the grocery store, and having a few meals prepared in advance can make life easier when you get home after having surgery.
Believe it or not, your physical therapy begins before you even head home from the hospital. That’s because exercise plays an essential role in the recovery process.
When you undergo hip replacement surgery, your physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to perform on a regular basis throughout the entire recovery process — or up to three months.
These types of activities often include:
Research shows that people who followed their physical therapy program were happier with their results than those who did not.
Your physical therapy exercises are only part of a healthy recovery regimen. You also have to start walking.
In the beginning, you can expect to be on your feet with the help of an assistive walking device, like a cane, crutches, or walker. During this time, Dr. Johnson usually recommends walking three to four times each day for 5-10 minutes at a time.
As your strength returns, you should gradually increase the amount of time you spend walking to 20-30 minutes, two to three times each day.
Finally, Dr. Johnson recommends adopting a regular walking regimen to maintain your results once you fully heal. In most cases, this involves 20-30 minutes of walking, three to four times each week.
We usually don’t think about our diet when considering hip replacement surgery, but a healthy diet can help prevent post-surgical complications, like high blood sugar and constipation. Plus, you need the right nutrients to support the healing process, so you can get back on your feet again and feel better than ever.
Though you should customize your diet to any existing health conditions you may have, you can follow some general guidelines to support your recovery. For example, focus on eating:
It’s also important to avoid foods that can increase constipation, a common problem after any type of surgery. These types of food include red meats, cheese, sweets, and processed foods, like onion rings and chicken nuggets.
When you take the right steps, you can expect to be back to normal after an anterior hip replacement in four to six weeks, and back to work within one to three months.
Are you ready to learn more about anterior hip replacement surgery? Contact our office by calling 424-309-1492 to schedule a consultation with Eric E. Johnson, MD, today.