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Recovery Strategies After Your Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement

A hip replacement used to be a daunting and painful procedure that was scary for many people — until now. New technology allows doctors to perform a total hip replacement using minimally invasive techniques to speed up recovery and reduce discomfort.

If you’re tired of dealing with arthritis and trouble walking and other treatments haven’t worked, a minimally invasive hip replacement offers long-term relief — but what’s the recovery like?

At Alpha Orthopedics & Sports MedicineDr. Brian Snow provides support through every step of the hip replacement process. Dr. Snow is an expert orthopedic surgeon who gives his patients tips and tricks to speed up recovery and return to normal activities.

Understanding a minimally invasive hip replacement

A minimally invasive total hip replacement is the same procedure as a routine hip replacement, except we use smaller incisions, and there’s less damage to surrounding tissues.

We use the same prosthetic devices in a minimally invasive procedure as a regular procedure, but we use different instruments. We use special minimally invasive instruments to prepare the bone surfaces for the new prosthetic.

Our team also uses the Mako® robotic arm to assist with total hip replacements. The addition of the robotic arm provides unsurpassed accuracy, along with small incisions and less tissue damage.

During a minimally invasive hip replacement, we carefully remove damaged tissue and bone through one or two small incisions. We then take careful measurements, with or without the robot’s assistance, to ensure the prosthetics fit perfectly.

How long does recovery take?

Recovery from a hip replacement varies for everyone, depending on your age, overall health, and severity of the hip joint before surgery. Although a minimally invasive hip replacement does speed up recovery, it may still take several months for the joint to function fully.

Most patients do very well after a minimally invasive hip replacement and can be walking on the new hip within a day or so after surgery. However, you may need to spend a night or two in the hospital for pain control and to help you get your bearings on the new hip.

Physical therapy starts immediately, helping you adjust to the new and improved motion in the hip joint. Your incisions should stay covered for seven to ten days or until your follow-up appointment.

We give you a guide for recovery regarding returning to work, driving, and physical activity. Many people return to most regular activities within six weeks of surgery. Still, it may take three months or more to recover from a minimally invasive total hip replacement fully.

Strategies to enhance your hip replacement recovery

Recovering from a hip replacement is essential for your long-term health and prosthetic. The recovery period could be the most critical aspect of surgery, as it helps you regain the function of the hip. Our team provides the following strategies to enhance your recovery.

Physical therapy is key

Physical therapy is one of the most critical steps in recovery. After your procedure, you'll start physical therapy right away. The goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain, improve hip motion, and increase functionality.

Some patients begin physical therapy exercises at home before starting outpatient therapy. Our practice participates with Methodist Physical Therapy, which is conveniently located below us in our McKinney, Texas office.

You will continue physical therapy for several months to ensure you get full function back in the surgical hip.

Don’t overdo activity

You may be raring to go after your hip replacement, but healing takes time. You mustn’t overdo certain activities or return to any exercises we recommend against. Take the time to recover correctly to reduce the chances of complications and pain.

Use ice to reduce swelling

The first few days after a total hip replacement can be painful, often due to tissue swelling. Even though minimally invasive surgery causes less tissue damage, swelling is still a factor.

Ice is recommended for the first few weeks after surgery to decrease swelling and help with pain. Ice packs can be used but be sure to use a towel or barrier to keep the ice off of the skin and your dressings. Or, talk to our staff about purchasing an ice machine for a more convenient and less messy option.

Apply heat to improve circulation

Applying heat to the hip is a good idea before a physical therapy session; not only does heat help improve circulation and increase the range of motion for optimal recovery.

Be careful with movement

Some movements should be avoided after a total hip replacement because they put stress on the new joint. For example, avoid bringing your knee higher than the hip, don’t cross your legs for at least eight weeks, and avoid bending down at the waist.

These movements can strain the new hip, possibly prolonging your recovery or causing damage before you can heal completely.

Don’t hesitate to call one of our convenient offices in Sherman, Prosper, and McKinney, Texas, today to discuss a total hip replacement or request a consultation on the website.

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