As soon as you are back in your hospital room, you may begin a gentle rehabilitation program to help strengthen the muscles around your new hip and regain your range of motion. On the day of surgery you may be asked to sit on the edge of the bed and dangle your feet. You will also learn how to protect your new hip while doing daily activities.
Usually within the next 24 hours, or as soon as possible, your physical therapist will help you start walking a few steps at a time. As you heal, you will progress from walker to crutches and then a cane. Before you are dismissed from the hospital, an occupational therapist will also show you how to perform daily tasks at home with your new hip. For example, he or she will instruct you on how to go to the bathroom, how to dress yourself, how to sit or stand, how to pick up objects, and many other tasks.
After about two to four days, or when your surgeon determines that you have recovered sufficiently, you will be discharged. You may be transferred to a rehabilitation facility for a few more days, as determined by your surgeon. Upon returning to your home, you will need to continue taking your regular medications and exercising as directed by your surgeon or physical therapist. Walking, remaining active, and practicing the required exercises are the quickest ways to full recovery.
Since rehabilitation is crucial to a successful outcome, your doctor will likely recommend an early and aggressive rehabilitation regimen after surgery and after you leave the hospital. After discharge, your physician will typically refer you to a physical therapist who will work with you to help you regain your strength, balance, and range of motion. Your commitment to following proper prescribed home exercises and additional rehabilitation is essential in regaining your ability to perform deep knee-bending activities.
Excessive physical activity, injury, and obesity also can result in loosening, wear, and/or fracture of your hip implant. Failure to follow through with the required rehabilitation program or failure to govern your physical activities as directed by your physician also may cause your hip implant to fail.