Every year, more than 2 million hip replacement surgeries are performed in the United States, helping women and men restore joint function and regain mobility following severe arthritis.
A leader in state-of-the-art hip replacement surgery, Thomas Powell, MD, offers these five tips to help patients at Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine get ready for their upcoming procedure.
1. Learn all you can
Before your surgery date, our team will provide you with lots of detailed information about your procedure and what to expect during recovery. Still, most people have plenty of questions, so don’t hold back.
Not only will we take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns, but we can also point you to reputable sources with information you can trust. Doing your own research can help you feel more comfortable and confident about the surgery and also help you understand how you can ensure a smooth recovery.
2. Optimize your health
Optimal health supports optimal healing, so it makes sense to do all you can to improve your health prior to surgery. At the top of the list: Quit smoking. Smoking interferes with healing in many ways. Quitting a few months ahead of time is ideal, but even a few weeks can help.
Furthermore, eating a healthy diet can help provide your body with the extra nutrients it needs to heal and recover. Losing extra pounds can also help by reducing the strain on your new hip joint. This type of preparation can also help you participate more fully in your physical therapy after your surgery.
3. Optimize your environment
Making your home more comfortable before your surgery can help during your recovery, too. Make sure you have wide, clear paths to your bathroom, kitchen, and other rooms you frequently visit. Consider installing handrails in hallways, and invest in a raised toilet seat, grab bars, and a shower seat for your bathroom.
Order medications beforehand, including over-the-counter medicines, and stock up on easy-to-prepare meals and snacks. Make sure the area where you’ll be resting in the days immediately after your surgery has everything you need within easy reach.
4. Visit your dentist
Plenty of Americans have untreated tooth decay or gum disease, both sources of unhealthy bacteria. Taking care of these issues prior to hip surgery prevents those bacteria from reaching your new joint, where they may cause complications or delays in healing.
It’s often a good idea to visit your primary care doctor, too. Since your PCP oversees your entire health picture, they can help schedule any needed pre-surgery testing (like heart tests) and make other recommendations for the days or weeks prior to surgery and your recovery period, too.
5. Set up your support network
After hip replacement surgery, your mobility will be significantly limited in the early stages of healing. You’ll need someone to drive you to and from your doctor and therapist appointments and to run errands, like picking up groceries or prescriptions. You’ll also need someone to help with daily housekeeping duties and meal prep.
In addition to family and friends, your support network includes your doctor and therapist, too. We can recommend other support groups for people undergoing similar surgeries as well as help for anxiety or stress you might experience during recovery.
Hip surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life. However, it is a major surgery. So following these five simple tips can help ensure you feel prepared and confident for your surgery and for the recovery process that follows.
To learn more about hip replacement surgery, call 205-606-5232 or request an appointment online with Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, today.