Question:I just saw a nurse who explained what to expect after my total hip replacement. It sounds like I'll be using crutches at first. I've never used these before. Will I really be able to manage crutches after surgery when I'm not feeling well?
You raise a good point. Some doctors have their patients see a physical therapist before the operation. During this session you will learn how to do the exercises after the operation. The therapist will go over what to expect and how to walk with crutches.
You'll still need someone to walk with you the first few times after the operation. The therapist will remind you how to use the crutches. It's easier to remember how to walk with the crutches afterwards if you've practiced before.
Pain medications can make walking more difficult. The nursing and physical therapy staff will watch your vital signs. A safety belt is used until you are steady and able to walk alone.Richard A. Berger, MD, et al. Rapid Rehabilitation and Recovery with Minimally Invasive Total Hip Arthroplasty. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. December 2004. Vol. 429. Pp. 239-247.
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