The fast facts:
- Nearly 30,000 hip replacements are made in the Netherlands each year
65% of these are female, 35% are male
- Running, ball and contact sports are not recommended after hip replacement but are not impossible
- After 15 years, 90% of all operated people still have the same hip prosthesis
- After 20 years, that's about 65% of all operated people with a hip replacement
Rehabilitating with a new hip
When various treatments no longer have the desired effect, a total hip replacement is an option. The joint is often replaced in its entirety by a prosthesis. The muscle strength and the mobility of the joint is often reduced by the osteoarthritis and the surgery. A quick start with rehabilitation is very important for the recovery of these functions. The therapists of Fysio Fitaal will teach you how to strengthen the muscles around the hip and how the mobility can be regained in the joint. They will also look at how you can best carry out your daily activities. Most people can walk again without crutches after 6 weeks. After that, the pain in the hip will decrease further. The condition will gradually increase and walking will become easier. An average rehabilitation of a new knee or hip takes 3-9 months.
A hip replacement aims to:
- Reduce the pain
- Improve quality of life
- Increasing mobility in the hip
- Being able to walk normally
The life span of a hip replacement
When the complaints only increase and you are limited too much in your daily life, a hip prosthesis can offer a solution. These complaints in the hip are often the result of osteoarthritis. A new hip will give you more freedom of movement again and the complaints will diminish. Normally an artificial hip will last at least 15 years. How long it will eventually last depends on various factors:
- the physical condition
- body weight
- activity level of the person
If you put too much strain on the artificial hip, the prosthesis may not last as long. Thanks to these surgical techniques, many people have regained a better and more active life. In over 90% of all cases, the recognizable pain is no longer present after surgery. The hip prosthesis is designed to mimic the function and anatomy of the hip as closely as possible.
Usually, there is a choice between a full anesthetic or a regional anesthetic using an epidural. The operation takes about 1.5 hours. First, the original hip socket is cleaned and damaged structures are removed. Then a plastic socket is placed in the hip socket. As a replacement for the hip head, a metal pin is placed in the upper leg to which the new head is attached. Thus, the joint is replaced in its entirety, both the socket and the head of the hip. After placing the hip, the surgeon will test the mobility of the hip. antibiotics will be given before surgery to keep the risk of a bacterial infection as low as possible. After surgery, you will stay for a while to check that everything is going well. In most cases you may go home the same day or the morning after.
The general physical condition
A pre-operative exercise program can help you avoid complications. This goes by the BiBo concept. Better in, Better out. The fitter you are going into surgery the faster the recovery, the less the risk of complications. Smoking negatively affects the blood flow and quality of connective tissue. It can therefore have a negative impact on wound healing but also on further recovery. If you are overweight, it is advisable to lose some weight in order to minimize the unnecessary load on the hip after surgery.
Tips for immediately after surgery
- Keep moving. See if you can manage to walk with the crutches for 3-10 minutes every hour.
- Place the leg up high to allow the swelling to go down.
- Do not sit with the leg down for too long. This can create a lot of pressure in the hip.
- Practice a lot of bending and stretching of the hip. Being able to bend quickly to 90 degrees is necessary for further therapy on, for example, an exercise bike.
- You may just take support on the leg with the help of your crutches. Do not be afraid to strain. Unless otherwise directed by the hospital.
- The hip may be reactive for a longer period of time. This means that a reaction to load is normal. An example is temporarily more complaints because you have done more in the morning. It will be fine again!
- For the first 6 weeks, it is not common to drive a car. The wound is still recovering and may reopen with a quick unexpected movement. Also, it is not convenient insurance-wise should you cause damage to yourself or others.
- If there is fever, redness or irritation of the wound call the hospital to be sure.
- Redness and shiny calf along with cramping can be a sign of thrombosis. Keep a close eye on this.
- Always indicate to the dentist that you have a joint prosthesis. This is due to the increased risk of infection.
The first phase
In the first 6 weeks, the prosthesis should start to grow in. High-speed movements should be avoided. The scar may remain somewhat sensitive for the next few weeks to months. A blue discoloration of the leg, swelling and pain may be present. Pain relief is therefore recommended. Because you move less along with the side effects of surgery is you will be given medication to prevent thrombosis.
The next steps
Successful rehabilitation consists of several phases and steps. A good strength, stability and control of the hip is necessary to be able to perform your daily activities safely again. During rehabilitation, you will visit the physical therapist on average 2 to 3 times a week. The first phase of rehabilitation will focus on restoring hip mobility and gait. After that, the focus will be on the strength of the muscles around the hip. How long the rehabilitation will take depends on several factors and therefore it is hard to say beforehand. However, there are guidelines available on the goals to be achieved:
- Within 4 weeks with 1 crutch
- Within 6 weeks without crutches
- Driving again after 6 weeks
- Cycling outside again after 4 months
Rehabilitation at Fysio Fitaal
Rehabilitation from a hip replacement takes an average of 6-9 months. During the rehab there will always be small and sometimes big setbacks. Especially in certain phases, it will go slower than you thought beforehand. Patience is necessary. Our specialists will guide you through this process as best as they can and motivate you where necessary. Fysio Fitaal works with specialists in the field of rehabilitation after surgery and osteoarthritis related complaints. This combination of expertise, extensive facilities and passion for physiotherapy means that you have come to the right place.