Okay, I want to know the fastest, yet safest way to get back up on my feet after hip replacement surgery. I have a wedding to go to, a trip to Europe planned, and two golf tournaments I'm signed up for in the next six months.
A recent study from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio might be of interest to you. Surgeons from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio divided a group of 103 total hip patients into two groups. One group (73 patients) had the traditional post-operative treatment after hip replacement. The second group (30 patients) tried a new rapid recovery program.
The rapid recovery program combined several factors to enhance recovery. First, the surgeon used incisions that don't cut through the abductor muscles. The abductor muscles are along the inside of the thigh and help bring the legs together. Second, nurses supervised the use of pain medications. Pain management began in the operating room where patients received a special injection of numbing agents around the joint just operated on.
And third, the patients were seen right away by physical therapists on the multidisciplinary team. The traditional program allows patients to rest the first day after surgery. They get up and move much more slowly with the traditional approach compared with the rapid recovery program.
Getting up the day of surgery and walking small amounts frequently throughout the day is part of the rapid recovery program. Walking is followed up with an exercise program that is supervised by the therapist twice a day.
Surgeons around the country are trying different ways to speed up recovery and return to full function. This is just one example that seems to be working well. You may have to look around in your area to find a surgeon who is on board with a slightly different approach to thotal hip replacements. The traditional approach is tried and true but it may hold you back a bit.
John Bottros, et al. A Rapid Recovery Program After Total Hip Arthroplasty. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. July/August 2010. Vol. 21. No. 4. Pp. 381-384.
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