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Hip Health

How to Have A Good Recovery after Hip Surgery

According to the latest statistics, more than 2.5 million people in the United States have had hip replacements. A successful hip replacement can make life easier by maximizing mobility and maintaining independent living. It’s crucial that you know how to make a good recovery so you can maximize the effects of the procedure. Here, experts from the SeniorHealth division of the National Institutes of Health share what you need to know for a successful recovery:

Start making preparations for an easier recovery even before you have the procedure. Stock up on what will need. Buy some nonperishable food, the SeniorHealth experts say. You can also prepare meals and freeze them.

Because you shouldn’t be going up or down stairs, think about setting up sleeping arrangements on the first floor.

A “recovery station” can make life much easier, the SeniorHealth experts advise. That means one place – where you’ll be spending most of your time. You should have the telephone, medicines, tissues, water, a wastebasket and the TV remote control within reach.

You won’t be able to drive for several weeks after surgery, the NIH experts say, so you’ll have to have someone take you home as well as run errands and help you go to doctors’ appointments. If your doctor hasn’t already told you, be sure to ask him or her how long you should avoid driving.

During the first week or two after the operation you’ll need someone to stay with you or at least be very close by in case you need help.

If you don’t live with a family member who can stay home with you, you should plan to stay with someone or have someone come and stay with you. If that’s not possible, you may want to stay in an extended-care facility or hire someone to help. The NIH experts suggest that you talk with a social worker in the hospital if you need to make arrangements.

Keep frequently used items at arm level so you won’t have to reach up or down. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about any devices that can help you, such as sticks that make putting on your shoes easier.  These can help you avoid bending your hip excessively, according to the SeniorHealth experts.

Make sure your home is safe. Before surgery, the SeniorHealth experts say, clean up cluttered floors, remove loose electrical cords and rugs that don’t have a mat beneath them. You should also make sure hallways are lighted.

In the bathroom, where a fall is likelier, think about a raised toilet seat, grab bars in the tub or shower, and texture shapes on the shower floor that will reduce the chance of slipping.

As for exercise, the SeniorHealth experts say, it’s important to do it so you get stronger – without engaging in any activity that can damage your new hip. Ask your doctor what’s best. One possibility, the SeniorHealth experts say, is a walking program that can help restore movement and strengthen the hip joint that’s been replaced.

For more information on senior health issues, visit http://nihseniorhealth.gov/

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