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Undergoing a hip replacement can completely change your life. But making the wrong choices while you heal can derail your recovery.

Thomas Calton, MD, brings more than 30 years of orthopedic experience to his modern, world-class medical facility in Ogden, Utah. Whether you have a traditional, anterior, or outpatient hip replacement at Utah Orthopedics, Dr. Calton offers these tips to ensure you have a quick and healthy recovery.

Prepare for your surgery

One of the best things you can do to ensure a speedy recovery involves advanced preparations. This type of planning should include:

  • Having physical therapy to strengthen your hip muscles
  • Making arrangements for help when you leave the hospital
  • Prepping your house by adding a higher toilet seat or shower grab bars and removing trip hazards, such as rugs

You should also try to lose extra weight before your surgery to support the healing process.

Avoid certain movements

Innovative surgical techniques have made hip replacements less invasive, which means shorter hospital stays — if any. It also means you’re on your feet again quickly. However, you have to take precautions while healing.

Dr. Calton will likely recommend that you avoid crossing your legs, bending deeply at your hip, and sleeping in certain positions while you heal. It can also help to use assistive devices, such as crutches or walkers, for up to six weeks to help bear your weight.

Stay active

It’s easy to assume that hip replacement surgery requires bed rest. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, and you should actually avoid sitting for long periods.

While you should allow for plenty of rest as you heal, it’s also crucial to continue moving your body and staying active to regain your strength and maintain flexibility in the area. In fact, walking is especially important during the first three months to ensure a healthy recovery.

Dr. Calton will provide instructions on how you can move around safely without putting your hip at risk.

Eat right

To heal right, you have to eat right — and that means consuming plenty of vitamins and minerals. For the best results, you should focus on eating healthy, whole foods, including:

  • High-fiber foods, such as whole grains
  • Lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, pork, seafood, tofu, and beans
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products

You should also avoid things that can cause constipation, such as red meat, full-fat dairy products, and dried, dehydrated, or processed foods. Sugary items, such as candy, cakes, and pastries, can also contribute to constipation.

Don’t skip your physical therapy

Doing daily exercises may seem like a chore, but your physical therapy regimen is vital to a quick and successful recovery. We’ll customize your exercises to your procedure, overall health, and fitness levels. Your program will also help keep you mobile while managing your stiffness and pain.

If you diligently follow your physical therapy program, you should be able to resume your daily activities within about three months, including some low-impact sports.

Take your time

It takes time to heal from surgery, so you shouldn’t try to rush it. It will likely take 4-6 weeks before you’ll feel stronger and move around with less pain. In most cases, you should have good hip function within 4-6 months. However, you may continue feeling some muscle weakness in your hip for up to two years.

But following our tips can ensure you recover as quickly as possible from your surgery.

For more information on your hip replacement options, book an appointment over the phone with Utah Orthopedics today.

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