By Elizabeth Carrollton
Hip injuries are common in people of all ages. Seniors are especially vulnerable to hip injuries from falls, reduced bone density and loss of elasticity in joint cartilage. Hip injuries can often be resolved without surgery, but in cases of severe joint damage, hip replacement surgery may be necessary.
If you or an elderly relative is considering a hip replacement, here are some things you should know about the procedure. For starters, hip replacement procedures remove a damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint. It’s typically done to restore mobility in cases of serious hip injury or joint deterioration that has caused disability or severe chronic pain.
Patients getting hip surgery and their caregivers should be aware that hip replacement is a major surgery and has risks. So make sure you attend any education seminars your doctor schedules and be sure to prepare for the post-hospital recovery.
Also, be sure to learn as much as you can about the type of implant and materials being used because some may carry more complications than others.
It may take from three months to more than a year to completely recover from hip surgery. Patients are often weak immediately after surgery and will have many restrictions on activity and movement during the healing process. They will need help with tasks like putting on pants, soaks and shoe during those first few weeks because bending at or beyond a 90 degree angle can cause the hip implant to dislocate.
Your parent or elderly relative may also need help walking or doing some rehabilitation exercises. Often, transportation to physical therapy and medical appointments will be needed, since doctors will restrict driving for a limited time. However, once fully recovered, more than 90 percent of patients are able to return to previous levels of activity and independence.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.