I'm 59-years old. I've had one total hip replacement on the right. Now I'm looking at a joint resurfacing procedure for the left. I understand this new procedure is less invasive. Will the rehab and recovery afterwards be easier, too?
Hip joint resurfacing is a type of hip replacement that removes the arthritic surface of the joint but takes far less bone than the traditional total hip replacement. Recovery may be faster after joint resurfacing for some patients.
The rehab protocol remains the same. The main difference is how fast you move through the progression from range-of-motion to strengthening and beyond. In some places, physical therapy begins pre-operatively.
You are evaluated for strength, motion, and function. And while you are free from the effects of anesthesia and post-operative pain, the therapist will teach you how to manage crutches (including stairs). This may be a review for you since you've had hip surgery before.
Even if you aren't seen pre-operatively, you will be in physical therapy on the first postoperative day. Ankle and knee movements are used to help pump swelling out of the leg and to prevent the formation of blood clots. You'll be wearing compressive stockings placed on your legs right after the surgery.
Exercises and walking with assistance are initiated. You probably won't be putting your full weight yet on that leg, so you'll need a walker, crutches, or canes at first. Eventually, you'll progress to full weight-bearing without the use of any aids.
Hip strengthening exercises, endurance activities, and a program to restore joint proprioception (sense of position) will be added. When you are safe in putting full weight through the leg, several types of balance exercises can be chosen to further stabilize and control the hip. This usually happens around six weeks post-op.
Since you are familiar with a rehab program for total hip replacement, you won't have any trouble adapting to a similar program following a joint resurfacing procedure.
Mike S. McGrath, MD, et al. Total Hip Resurfacing in Patients Who Are Sixty Years of Age or Older. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Supplement 2008. vol. 90-A. No. 8. Pp. 27-31.
*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.