What does life look like after a hip replacement?
With robotic-assisted surgery increasing the accuracy of hip replacements, you can expect your life to be a lot like it was before surgery, without the pain.
Your hip should return to its full range of movement post-surgery so that you are able to perform many of the activities you enjoyed daily.
Of course, everyone is different and your hip will need time to recover after your surgery, however here’s what you can expect from life after your surgery.
After your hip has had time to recover and your doctor gives you clearance, you can return to many of the exercise activities you enjoyed prior to surgery. Activities like swimming, golf cycling and walking are favoured over activities that put more stress on your hip, such as basketball, squash and soccer.
Many people are able to return to light work six weeks after their hip replacement surgery. However, if your work involves a lot of standing or lifting, you may need to stay off work for a little longer. It’s important not to return to work too soon as the demands of your job might impact your recovery and daily exercise progress.
Yes, you can still engage in sex after your hip replacement surgery. The mobility of your new hip will allow you to enjoy sexual activity, pain free. However, avoid any positions that require excessive bending, pressure or twisting of your hips.
A hip replacement won’t hold you back from travelling by plane, however it can cause some discomfort if your hip is still healing as pressure changes and immobility can cause your hip to swell. Speak to your doctor about travel before your surgery, as he/she may advise you not to travel by air for up to three months during recovery.
Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain sleeping positions and to sleep with a pillow between your legs to support your new hip for a set period of time.
Once your strength and mobility has returned to a normal state and you are no longer taking pain medication, your doctor may give you the go-ahead to drive again. Factors like whether you have had a double hip replacement and if you drive a manual car may impact how soon you can get behind the wheel.
The most important thing you can do to get back to your normal activities is to follow your doctor’s advice.
Dr Stuart MacKenzie is one of the top orthopaedic surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter and has extensive experience helping people to get moving again through robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery.
17 Aug 2017
Published by Stuart MacKenzie