Recovering From Hip Surgery at Home
Joint replacement surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than a million Americans will undergo hip or knee surgery this year. Improvements in the procedure have reduced hospital stay times and sent patients home sooner – many return home after just two to three days.
Therapy is critical to a positive outcome
Because of the shorter hospital stay, planning ahead for recovery is essential. Some people go to a rehabilitation facility, while others choose to recuperate at home. If you choose the latter option, finding the right rehabilitation therapist will help speed your recovery.
Home care vs. inpatient care
Several studies conducted at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, one of the nation’s largest orthopedic hospitals, showed no difference in pain relief or joint functioning two years post-surgery between those who recuperated at home and those who chose to go to a rehabilitation facility. The studies also demonstrated that in-home patients were less like to experience complications after joint surgery than those who were in a rehabilitation facility.
How to speed recovery
After surgery, your risk of falling may increase. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of falling and increasing your chances of making a full recovery.
Your rehabilitation program will likely include exercises to help in healing. Fall prevention exercises include squats, leg extensions and toe stands, which can strengthen the legs and provide more support when walking. Exercises such as tai chi can help improve balance. Walking can improve strength, balance and endurance. Be sure to check with your physician or physical therapist before starting an exercise routine outside of what you’re doing for rehabilitation. If you experience any pain, dizziness or trouble breathing during or after exercise, talk with a doctor, nurse or physical therapist.
Check your medications
One of the side effects of many medications is drowsiness or dizziness, which can increase your chance of falling. Many seniors are overmedicated, which can also cause problems. Review all the medication you’re currently taking with your doctor or pharmacist on a regular basis to see if there are alternate medications you can take and to ensure the drugs you’re taking aren’t causing problematic interactions.
Fall-proof your home
Nearly 50 percent of all falls happen in the home. You can help reduce the risk by taking some steps to make the home safer, including:
- Installing handrails on stairways.
- Installing grab bars in the bathroom near the shower and toilet.
- Putting nonskid flooring throughout the house.
- Removing clutter and making sure frequently used items are within easy reach.
- Put nightlights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Talk to your doctor
Finally, talk to your doctor. Have them evaluate your risk of falling, review your medications and make dietary recommendations, which may include more protein, Vitamin D and calcium.
How Life Source Home Health rehabilitation can help
We understand that healing happens more quickly when someone feels supported and cared for. Our dedicated rehabilitation therapists, working closely with your physician, help you regain the highest level of functionality and independence possible.