What is a Total Hip Replacement?
A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure where the ball and socket of the hip joint are replaced with ball and cup which is made from metal, plastic, ceramic or a combination. The surgery takes up to an hour and a half and is completed by an orthopaedic surgeon. The operation consists of the surgeon cutting into the hip, removing the damaged bone and inserting the artificial joint and fixing it to the bone
Total hip replacements are completed when the hip joint has been severely damaged usually due to osteoarthritis, trauma or other joint diseases. This surgery is usually recommended when non-surgical techniques do not help the patient where they are still limited in everyday activities. Your physiotherapist or GP will refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon if they believe you need a total hip replacement.
How can physiotherapy help following a total hip replacement?
Physiotherapy is a vital part of the aftercare of your operation, your physiotherapist can help you during your stay in hospital as they will teach you exercises to complete when your in bed, sitting and standing to ensure that you are using the muscles around the hip and thigh. They may also teach you how to get in and out of bed, how to walk with a frame or crutches and give you precautions and advice for at home. Your physiotherapist will also give you at-home exercises or refer you to a hydrotherapy class.
It is highly recommended that you see a physiotherapist as studies have shown that people who have seen a physiotherapist during this time have had significant improvement in functional activities.
What can I do at home?
It is important that you complete your at-home exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist, in addition, you should try and take regular walks.
How long will my recovery be?
Generally, most people will need to use crutches for 4-6 weeks after surgery although this does vary person to person. You will be able to walk without crutches when you can walk without a limp, pain or swelling, and are confident to manage on your own.
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.