A hip replacement can help end chronic pain and improve your quality of life. Be advised, however, that it is a major surgery with a significant recovery period. Whether you are weeks or months away from your procedure, here are 10 tips to help you prepare:
1) Lose weight and strengthen muscles
You and your doctor may set weight loss goals before hip replacement surgery. Lowering your BMI can help decrease your chances of developing complications from surgery. Your doctor can provide resources to help you reach your weight loss goals. Additionally, strengthening your hip and surrounding muscles before surgery can help you recover faster. You can find some examples of hip-strengthening exercises here.
2) Quit smoking
Smoking slows down recovery and can lead to complications. See our blog post on why it’s important to stop smoking before surgery.
3) Adjust your medications
If you take blood thinners, such as aspirin or Advil, you’ll need to stop taking them a few weeks before surgery, as they can lead to surgical complications.
4) Give blood
In the event that you need a transfusion during surgery, it’s best if you can use your own blood. Consider banking your blood before surgery so the option is there if the need arises.
5) Prepare ice and heat packs
You’ll want to use ice on the surgical area in the days following surgery, in order to reduce inflammation and swelling. Then, you’ll want to go for hot packs to help manage post-surgical pain. Get a heating pad and an ice pack so you’re ready to use the appropriate therapy when you return from surgery.
6) Learn to use a walking aid
A walking aid, such as a walker or a cane, can help you get around safely while your hip heals. Check if your doctor or hospital can provide one for you before purchasing one. If possible, learn how to use it before surgery.
7) Prep your bathroom
Using the bathroom can be difficult when recovering from hip replacement surgery. Invest in a shower chair and a toilet seat lift to make your bathroom time easier and safer.
8) Rearrange household items
Move any items that you commonly use in your kitchen, bedroom and elsewhere so that they are close enough to reach, and not too high or too low. You might want to invest in a reaching aid or grabber to help you pick up any items that are out of reach.
9) Eliminate tripping hazards
Falling can be a major setback to your recovery. If you see any loose rugs or electrical cords, remove them so they don’t become tripping hazards.
10) Find a designated driver
After hip replacement surgery, you won’t be able to drive for at least a few weeks. Try to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you when you need to get around.
The above tips can help you prepare for your hip replacement surgery and make your recovery safer and easier. This list isn’t exhaustive, so be sure to check with your surgeon for additional to-do items. Interested in hip replacement surgery? Contact one of our top-notch international doctors today!