Five years ago, I had hip surgery on both of my hips. I remember the doctor putting my x-rays on the viewer and jumping back with surprise. He told me that I didn’t look like the photos he was seeing. My bones appeared much older. Unfortunately, I have degenerative arthritis. This is a genetic condition that I inherited. The news didn’t surprise me. I was well aware that I had put off having my hips replaced longer than I should have. The doctor did not recommend having both hips replaced at the same time, as the recovery would have been very difficult. I scheduled each hip surgery 6 months apart.
There are many decisions to be made before having hip surgery. First, and most importantly, you need to find the right doctor. Next, you will have to clear your schedule and take all of the pre-op tests. Because we are preoccupied with preparing for surgery, we often neglect what to expect afterward.
You will not need much for your hospital stay. It is easier to stay in your gown until you are discharged. A few necessary toiletries and minimal makeup are enough. Below you will find what I found helpful after hip surgery.
After your hip surgery, you can expect some swelling. Loose-fitting clothing is not only comfortable, it is also functional. Most likely you will have visits from a home care nurse and physical therapist. I recommend something like this. Slip-on shoes are useful because you cannot bend to tie your shoelaces. I like this brand for comfort. You will also want to have a pair of non-skid slippers to prevent yourself from slipping while recuperating at home.
I recommend that you keep up going to physical therapy for as long as your insurance allows. Your physical therapist will assist you in getting back your range of motion. Think about the time you spent choosing the right doctor. Take the time to find a trusted physical therapist as you will be spending a good amount of time with them.
Do not be shy about using walking aids as you cannot risk falling. You will need to limit your bending. I found the handy claw device useful. I used the claw to pull up my clothing while getting dressed. Many toilet seats are low. I also recommend using a raised toilet seat. It is not only suggested as a safe alternative, it is also more comfortable. Purchase panty liners and flushable wipes ahead of time as they will come in handy.
Stock up on groceries before your surgery. Take advantage of home delivery services like Instacart. You may not be doing the cooking, but it’s very important that you eat well. Allow others to prepare meals or order healthy take out. Healthy eating is an instrumental part of your recovery.
Visits from friends and family can be tiring. Space out your visits. Use apps like FaceTime to see your friends and family. When you do have any visitors, make sure they are healthy.
You may find yourself overly cautious about getting back into your routine after hip surgery. You are not just healing physically, as it also takes a little time to gain confidence in moving about. Before my hip replacement surgery, I limited certain activities to prevent discomfort. After surgery, my mind was afraid to accept that I could now go about these activities without pain. Learning to trust yourself that you are okay takes a little time. Overall, having hip surgery was the best decision I’ve made to regain my active lifestyle!
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