What Not to Do After Hip Surgery - Week by Week Recovery & Permanent Restrictions

The goal of hip replacement surgery is to restore your hip joint back to life. When your hip is replaced, damaged parts of your hip joint are replaced with new, prosthetic materials. 

Ideally, a hip surgery will give you the same capabilities your original hip would, but because your body takes time to adjust to the new prosthetic hip, there are certain movements and actvities you should avoid to prevent further damage.

Hip Replacement Dislocation Risk Factors

  • Insufficient Soft-tissue Tension
  • Suboptimal Implant Position
  • Inadequate Experience Of The Surgeon

After hip surgery, you should also avoid:
  • Strenuous activites. When you overuse your new hip or push it too hard, you can loosen the new joint or create unnecessary pressure on your legs and hips.
  • Bending your hip more than 90 degrees. If your hip joint bends too much, you will put excess strain on your new hip and risk hip dislocation.
  • Lifting your knee higher than your hip. Doing so can cause hip dislocation. Typically, your thigh should rise no higher than parallel to the floor.
  • Crossing your legs. Crossing your ankles or legs, especially crossing the operated leg over the non-operated leg, can lead to hip dislocation. This is why doctors may suggest you use an abduction pillow between your legs when you sleep.
  • Rotating your feet too far inward and outward. When you move your feet these ways, you pivot your hip joint as well, risking dislocation of the new hip.
  • Twisting your body. You can avoid unnecessary stress on your hip by keeping your chest and hips pointed in the same direction.
  • Lifting heavy objects, kneeling, or stooping. These are just a few additional activities that can put excess strain on your new hip replacement.
  • Skipping exercises and therapy. Surgeons and physical therapists encourage particular post-surgery movements. Therapy and exercise are good for circulation, prevent pressure sores, and build muscles. But don't try to move around without assistance from a caregiver or mobility aid for several weeks after surgery.
  • Rushing your healing process. The healing process is slow and gradual. If you push yourself too hard too fast, you'll risk further injury.
  • Driving until your doctor says it's safe. The standard waiting period is eight weeks. It's also important that you avoid getting into cars with low seats. 
  • Waiting until after surgery to prepare your home. Before you even go in for surgery, you should make clear, wide paths for you to move through with your walker, cane, or crutches. Investing in a firm, high-seated chair and gathering frequently used items (phone, glasses, remote controls, reading materials, etc.) can also make your healing process more comfortable.
  • Smoking. Smoking can increase your risk of infection and blood clots.
For the most effective healing process, ou may have to make slight changes to your habits or routine. But if you follow these guidelines and any additionaly suggestions from your doctor and physical therapist, you should be able to resume your favorite activities in time. 

If you have recently had hip replacement surgery, get in touch with the team at Central Carolina Orthopaedic Associates so you can start the healing process today. 


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