Restrictions after a Total Hip Replacement & The Logic Behind Them
After having a Total Hip Replacement, your doctor might recommend that you avoid certain movements for the first 6-10 weeks of recovery. These restrictions are given as precautions in order to prevent dislocation of the new joint.
These restrictions are more common in the posterior approach than the anterior approach for total hip replacement. Restrictions include:
• Flexing the operated hip over 90 degrees.
• Crossing your legs.
• Internally rotating your operated leg (pivoting inwards).
Examples of certain daily activities that are affected by these restrictions include:
• Bending down to tie shoes.
• Sitting on a low toilet seat.
• Sitting with your legs crossed.
In addition, it is often recommended to use a raised toilet seat and place a pillow between your legs when going to sleep in order to help maintain these precautions.
Of course, these restrictions vary depending on your doctor. Some doctors give precautions to all and some to none, some for six weeks and some for ten. But, most importantly, remember to be mindful and pay close attention to how your body feels and do what feels most comfortable and safe for you.
As long as you follow your doctor’s restrictions, you should be safe. The risk of dislocation is small as most revisions happen within the first three months of surgery. Statistics show that approximately 2% of patients over 90 years old will require revision, while only 1.2% of patients under 69 will require revision during this time frame.
During recovery, it’s recommended to walk and maintain movement throughout the day in order to avoid blood clots and regain strength and control over your new joint. Remember to practice moderation and find the right balance between exercise and rest that works best for you.