Recovering from hip surgery, patients have many questions. One of the first questions that a hip replacement patient asks is “When can I….?” You can fill in the blank with any activity but they all entail bending your hip joint.
If you have had a total hip replacement using the posterior approach, you need to avoid bending your hip more than 90 degrees. This severely limits your activities, such as gardening. For instance, you can kneel down, but should avoid kneeling directly on the side you were operated on. Try to keep your weight evenly placed. While kneeling in your garden, you need to avoid bending too forward at the hip.
You cannot get onto your hands and knees because this position puts your hip at a 90-degree angle. The added pressure of your body weight on your hip could cause it to dislocate.
Restrictions like this on normal, everyday, enjoyable activities are what make the direct anterior approach to total hip replacement the superior approach. They simply do not apply. With the direct anterior approach, there are no limits on your flexibility. This approach reduces pain, blood loss, scarring, muscle trauma and the risk of dislocation.
Recovering from hip surgery quickly is another benefit of the direct anterior approach to total hip replacement. Patients are up and walking, placing full weight on their operative hip, the same day of surgery. Many need only a cane to walk about during their short (generally 2 days) hospital stay. Some patients may qualify for outpatient total hip replacement surgery at our new Seaside Surgery Center. They are in surgery by breakfast time and home for lunch! Most all direct anterior approach hip replacement patients are able to return to activities such as golf, tennis, biking and of course distance walking, in as short as four weeks.
Mastering the direct anterior approach to total hip replacement requires specialized training and experience. It is Dr. Zehr’s preferred approach for primary total hip replacement, and he uses it for virtually all of his primary hip replacement surgeries.
For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.com. The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments, or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read on this topic.