Having total hip replacement surgery is a big decision. Usually by the time you need a new hip, you have lost a lot of mobility. The Arthritis Foundation reports that, following a total hip replacement surgery, “90% of patients who had moderate pain before their first surgery reported mild or no pain after five years.” (https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/joint-surgery/after-surgery/hip-replacement-success-rates). Patients look forward to the possibility that having surgery can help them regain function. But, the steps you take in the weeks and months after surgery can determine whether you will have a successful total hip replacement recovery outcome.
Many surgeons do not recommend physical therapy after hip replacement. However, patient recoveries are not “one size fits all…”
People are more cost conscious than ever about health care. Medical providers are also under pressure to cut costs. Therefore, there is a growing trend for surgeons not to recommend physical therapy following a total hip replacement. For many patients, this will be fine. By walking as much as possible and trying to stay active after surgery, they should be able to return to most of their former activities. However, this is not true for everyone. For example, people who don’t have assistance at home might tend to be more sedentary following surgery. This would cause someone’s outcome to be less than optimal. Surprisingly, athletic people may also need guidance following surgery if they are trying to resume certain sports.
Physical therapy Can Help Your Total Hip Replacement Recovery Outcome Be More Successful
Physical therapy can help to:
- Normalize your gait
- Restore joint strength and mobility
- Strengthen muscles surrounding the hip
- Eliminate joint stiffness
- Improve balance
- Rebuild muscle strength for sports
Following surgery, there is a window of time where your recovery is optimal. If you don’t move and strengthen in the right ways, there is a possibility that scar tissue will develop. This will make it harder to recover fully. Your movement can be restricted, and your muscles will not gain the strength that your new joint needs.
Scheduling a Physical Therapy Assessment Can Help
After you have your surgery, if you do not feel that you are recovering the way that you would like, a physical therapy evaluation can help. Your progress to date will be measured, and your therapist can help to determine if you are on the right track, or if there are potential problems that you should address before they interfere with your recovery. Most insurance plans cover evaluations for minimal or no cost, so it is worthwhile to check and make sure that you are heading in the right direction.
Contact Us Today if you are interested in scheduling an evaluation – (215) 872-7822