You have surgery scheduled to replace your painful arthritic hip joint. You'll spend a few days in the hospital after the surgery, then go home to complete your recovery. How well you control your pain at home is one factor in how smoothly your recovery goes. Here are some tips for managing your pain so you'll have an easier, more comfortable recovery.
Manage Your Pain Medication Schedule Wisely
Your doctor will send you home from the hospital with one or more pain medications. You can anticipate taking the medication for several weeks at the beginning of your recovery. These drugs work best if you maintain a level of them in your body at all times instead of waiting until the pain is unbearable to take anything. Stay on a regular schedule for taking your pain medication, even if you are feeling little to no pain at the moment.
Time Your Medication Schedule Around Your Exercises
Arrange to take your pain medication about an hour before you are to have a physical therapy session or when doing your hip exercises at home. This will take the edge off of the pain during those activities. Those important recovery activities will go smoother, and you'll have less pain after your workout.
Remove Obstacles in Your Home That Might Cause You to Trip or Fall
Before you go in for surgery, have someone walk with you through your house and move items that could cause you to have a painful accident during your recovery. This will include:
- moving furniture to make a clear path through rooms so you can get through easily with your crutches
- moving trash cans, pet beds and other items that could cause you to trip
- picking up rugs that could slide under your feet and cause you to fall
Pick the Right Surfaces on Which to Sit
Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will tell you how much you can initially bend your hip safely. Until you have full range of motion in your hip joint, bending your hip too much will cause pain and could even dislocate the new hip joint. Only sit on surfaces that keep your leg at right angles to your hips. If you sink into a chair or sofa, your hip will be in a painful angle.
Learn to Get Up Safely from a Sitting Position
If you bend forward too far when getting up out of a sitting position, you'll put your hip at a painful angle. Place your crutches in front of you and push up on them when getting out of a chair so your hip joint isn't put in an extreme angle.
For more tips, contact the staff at a local clinic like Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon .