Long-Term precaution after hip replacement surgery
Every individual is different, so it’s impossible to know if there will be permanent restrictions after hip replacement for any specific person. There are also different types of replacement hips; some have been shown to last longer than others, but there is always the risk that the implant will wear out and need to be replaced. If you have a very active lifestyle, your implant could wear more quickly. It’s also important to avoid activities that are more likely to damage the implant, including heavy lifting and repetitive high-impact activities. Some hip implants also have a higher risk of dislocation, so you should avoid activities that cause you to aggressively flex your hip joint.
If you travel often by air, you should let the security screener know about your hip replacement. This is particularly important if there is metal in your implant that could set off a metal detector. It’s also best to avoid air travel immediately following your surgery without your doctor’s permission, as the restrictions on how you can sit plus possible pain caused by air pressure changes could cause swelling.
For most patients, life after hip replacement returns to normal, but with less pain. If you have any concerns, educate yourself and talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of hip replacement.
Do Not Forget About Long-Term Care
People are advised to:
- Keep up with their physical therapy exercises to maintain strong hip muscles, which will support the artificial joint.
- Try to avoid infections. Infectious bacteria enter the body though a cut or wound, major dental procedure (e.g. root canal), or other surgical procedures and eventually reach the artificial hip. An infected artificial hip may require an operation.
- Follow up with the surgeon regularly. Experts recommend visiting with an orthopedist every 1 to 5 years to check on the new hip. Some physicians may even order X-rays to monitor changes in the new hip.
These appointments can help detect problems with the artificial hip before the patient notices symptoms. Long-term care can help avoid problems or correct problems early, when they pose fewer risks and are easier to treat.