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Which Is Easier To Recover From Hip Or Knee Replacement

Whether You Really Need Itand How To Prep For It If You Do

Enhanced Recovery in Hip & Knee replacement surgery

More than half of all older adults in the U.S. have arthritis. Most often its osteoarthritis where the cartilage between joints wears down, causing swelling, pain, and disability in some.

Since the 1960s, people with severe OA have had the option of surgery to replace certain painful joints with prosthetics made of metal, ceramic, and plastic. Knee and hip replacements are now the third and fourth most common surgeries, respectively, in U.S. hospitals, behind cesarean sections and circumcisions.

But while often highly successful, a joint replacement may not eliminate all pain or restore full range of motion in a hip or knee. We cant take someone who is doing awful and suddenly make them perfect, says David Jevsevar, M.D., chair of the department of orthopedics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Overall, hip replacement results are better than those for knee replacement. Only about 1 in 10 people who have hip replacement report persistent pain or dissatisfaction after surgery. One in 5 knee replacement recipients say they have continuing pain afterward or are unhappy with the outcome.

Here, what you need to know about the benefits and potential downsides of joint replacement:

Finally The Take Home Message

Surgeons who perform high volumes of joint replacement are likely to choose correct implants with tried and tested designs, that are implanted with due skill and care, which provide the patient with a successful hip or knee replacement that is likely to last 25 years or moreâ¦a lifetime for the majority of patients.

Michael Solomon

My Hip Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery

After my surgery, I experienced slight pain in both of my hips during physical therapy. I chalked it up to relearning to walk and I understood that my body was getting comfortable with a new knee.

This was the only hip pain I experienced early on. However, a year and a half after my TKR I experienced more severe hip pain.

Before leaving on a vacation, I went on several 6-8 mile hikes within a week. I like to keep active but even this was a lot for me .

During the last hike, my right hip began to hurt and gradually got worse during the hike. Fortunately, the second half of the hike was downhill. Im not sure I would have been able to make it back to the car if it had been uphill.

Two days later, the pain was severe during my long plane flight.

I searched for hip pain information on the internet and talked with friends and was convinced I had bursitis.

I took ibuprofen regularly but the hip pain remained. I had planned several excursions during the first week of the trip including hiking and biking.

As the week went by, the pain increased in my hip. I had to lift my right knee to get in a car and I also had trouble sleeping.

I continued to take ibuprofen but my hip began to throb at night . The last few weeks were spent at my daughters home and I was still in severe pain.

I was unable to hike or even walk very far.

My daughter set up an appointment with a physical therapist who examined me. He said I did not have bursitis.

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Exercises That Helped My Hip Pain

  • Exercise 1: Walk sideways with a band below your calf muscles 20 steps each direction.
  • Exercise 2: With an exercise ball between the wall and your back, do 3 sets of 15 deep knee bends
  • Exercise 3: Lay Flat on the floor, flex your butt muscles 20 times and hold for 4 seconds
  • Exercise 4: Stretch the hips for 20 minutes twice a day

Ways To Recover Faster After Joint Replacement Surgery

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Sep 24, 2018 | Patient

If you have a hip or knee replacement on the books, theres no doubt youve spent a lot of time thinking about recovery. What will recovery be like? How painful will recovery be? How will I know if my recovery is normal? How long will I be down for the count? When can I return to work or regular activities again? When will I be able to drive? What do I need to know that I still dont know?!

Okaybreathe in, breathe out. We totally get ittheres a lot of information to process about surgery and recovery. However, getting ready for surgery doesnt have to be complicated, stressful or even boring ! Regardless of where you are in your surgery prep or recovery, there are things you can do today to set yourself up for a better tomorrow.

Did you know we have a PreHab AND ReHab app for joint replacement surgery prep and recovery? The app breaks down everything you should be doing into small, 10-15 minute daily lessons. Sound better than reading a giant hospital handout or manically googling? We know.

Read on as we break-down all the best ways to have a faster recovery from a hip replacement or knee replacement. Were also going to offer must-know info and offer tips on how to achieve your recovery goals.

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When To Have Hip Or Knee Replacement Done

Farmers never have a good time to be away from the farm. In this case, joint replacement requires an extended period of recovery time and rehabilitation. There are many factors that can contribute to recovery time, but typically patients can return to normal activities within 1 to 6 months. Planning ahead and preparing a timeline of essential farming activities will help the healthcare provider, and plan for providing assistance and alternative methods to complete required daily and seasonal farm tasks.

In some cases patients put off having a hip or knee replaced until it is an absolute last option. This situation can cause a secondary injury because of overcompensation on the other side of the body causing further damage to the opposite hip or knee. Fixing one joint can reduce the stress on the opposite joint and decrease the potential to have both joints replaced. Keep in mind that each case is different, and the doctor will recommend the best course of action based on individual conditions.

How Soon Can I Return To Regular Activities After A Hip Replacement

The goal of physical therapy is to get you back to your normal life, whether its going to work, playing with kids, or engaging in your favorite sport or hobby. Depending on the amount of physical activity a task requires, the amount of time it will take to be able to perform that task differs.

  • Driving. If you had surgery on your right hip, it may take up to a month to be able to drive safely again. If it was your left hip, then you might be back in the drivers seat in one or two weeks. Start in a parking lot and slowly move to rural roads, working your way up to the highway. Taking medications that may impair your coordination, such as opioids, might delay how soon you can go back to driving.
  • Work. If you have a desk job with minimal activity, you can return to work in about two weeks. If your job requires heavy lifting or is otherwise tough on the hips, it is recommended to take off about six weeks to recover.
  • Sports. For sports with minimal activity, such as golf, you can return when you feel comfortable. For high impact contact sports you should wait about six weeks to get back in the game. Before getting into a pool, you should also wait about six weeks until the incision completely heals.
  • Sexual Activity. You can return to sexual activity whenever you feel comfortable.

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What To Consider Before Total Joint Replacement

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hip or knee replacement, says Dr. Piuzzi. The surgical team will personalize the surgery for you. And you need to weigh the benefits and risks of having the surgery.

Before undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery, you and your healthcare provider should discuss the following.

Your overall health

Having a chronic condition doesnt exclude you from hip or knee replacement. But your medical team should consider any conditions before you move forward. For instance, if you have:

  • Diabetes: You may need a test to ensure your blood sugar is under control.
  • Heart condition: Your orthopedic surgeon may work with a cardiologist during surgery and recovery.

Medications you take

If you take prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements, your surgeon needs to know. You may need to stop taking them several days before surgery.

Muscle strength

Recovery from total joint replacement takes work. You have to complete specific exercises and follow a physical therapy plan. But you dont need to be in peak physical condition to get a new hip or knee. Your doctor will just want to ensure you have enough strength to successfully recover from surgery.

Family and social support

Other pain relief options

Not everyone who has OA needs joint replacement surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon may recommend these options before deciding on surgery:

How Old Is Too Old For Hip Or Knee Replacement

Recovering from Hip or Knee Replacement: Dr. Nicholas Brown

More people are reaching their 80s and 90s, and many of them lead active lives, says Dr. Piuzzi. So were seeing more people in these age groups who want relief from hip or knee pain.

Total joint replacement is major surgery and requires several weeks of recovery at home. But despite this, youre never too old to have your hip or knee replaced.

There is no age cutoff for joint replacement, says Dr. Piuzzi. Studies have found that people in their 80s and 90s benefit from hip or knee replacement as much as younger people.

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Top 10 Recommendations To Help Make Your Daily Living Easier During Recovery

  • Install grab bars on the walls of your shower or bathtub.
  • Move your toilet paper to a location where you do not have to reach forward or twist your hips to reach it.
  • Purchase a handheld showerhead and a shower chair. Once you are allowed to shower, these items will enable you to sit, making showering easier.
  • Purchase a long-handled sponge so you dont have to twist your hips or bend your knees while bathing.
  • Install a raised toilet seat to reduce the amount of bending required during toileting.
  • Place frequently used items on countertops within easy reach.
  • Use assistive devices for dressing, such as a sock aid, dressing stick, and long shoe horn.
  • Use a walker or crutches until your physical therapist or physician instructs you to stop.
  • Use a reacher to pick up objects on the floor do not bend down to pick up objects.
  • Use an apron with several pockets to carry small items, or get a walker bag, which fits on your walker and can be used to carry small items.
  • Mayo Clinic Q And A: When Your Hip And Knee Both Need To Be Replaced

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I need a total hip replacement and a total knee replacement both on my left side. Does it matter which procedure is done first? How soon after one procedure can I have the other procedure done?

    ANSWER: In a situation like yours, its typically recommended that the joint causing the most symptoms be replaced first. If symptoms are similar, then its usually best for the hip replacement to be done first. Youll need to allow about six weeks for recovery and rehabilitation after your hip replacement. Depending on your individual circumstances, you should be able to move forward with the knee replacement procedure any time after that.

    Joint replacement involves removing parts of an arthritic or damaged joint, and replacing them with metal, plastic or ceramic components that replicate the movements of a healthy joint. The surgeries youre considering are the most common total joint replacement procedures done in the U.S. About 700,000 knee replacements and about 400,000 hip replacements are performed in the U.S. each year.

    Both hip and knee replacements have high rates of success when performed well by experienced surgeons. The implants used in joint replacements are durable, often lasting for decades. In people who receive a total hip replacement, about 90 to 95 percent receive almost total relief of pain following the surgery. Because of the intricacy of the joint, that number drops slightly for knee replacement to about 80 to 85 percent.

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    How Long Does It Take For Your Hip To Heal After A Hip Replacement Surgery

    The average time for hip replacement recovery is between two and four weeks. However, everyone is different. It all depends on several factors such as how active you were prior to surgery, your age and nutrition.

    Being active and in good shape before surgery can make it easier to recover faster and return to your usual activities. Prehabilitation is a term used by physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons to help patients become physically fit before they undergo surgery.

    Set Yourself Up For Success

    Home Beats Rehab for Knee, Hip Replacement Recovery ...

    If you and your doctor think joint replacement is reasonable, give yourself time beforehand to deal with health issues that may interfere, such as obesity or uncontrolled diabetes. And take these steps:

    Pick an experienced surgeon. Choose one who frequently performs joint replacement and has a low complication rate: At least 50 surgeries a year and a 3 percent or lower complication rate are good benchmarks. The medical facility you choose should do at least 400 joint replacements annually.

    Because a key risk of surgery is infection, ask about the facilitys overall infection rate . Or check Consumer Reports hospital ratings.

    Find out about recalls. Ask your surgeon whether the device he or she is planning to use has ever been recalled. And request the unique device identifier for your implant in case it is recalled in the future.

    In addition, make sure that you dont have an allergy or a sensitivity to any of the materials in your device and that your surgeon isnt planning to use a metal-on-metal implant.

    When it comes to techniques, dont be dazzled by robotic or minimally invasive surgeries, which use shorter incisions, says Matthew Kraay, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. They havent been shown to be more effective than standard methods, and surgeons may be less familiar with them.

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    A Lot Of Physiotherapy Is Needed Afterwards

    Physiotherapy is certainly needed afterwards, usually 6-8 sessions, but well performed surgery makes the physiotherapists job much easier as movement is regained quickly and strengthening of muscles occurs more quickly.

    It is important that your surgeon also partners with you in your rehabilitation and recovery. This should involve reviewing your progress and identifying what is amiss if things are going more slowly than usual to help you get back on track. Liaison with your physiotherapist as necessary is also important.

    When movement is not regained as quickly as necessary it is sometimes necessary to manipulate the knee under a brief anaesthetic. This should not be needed very often. As a guide, Mr Sood manipulates on average one of his knee replacements a year . High rates of manipulation are more common with knee replacements that are performed by non-specialised Orthopaedic surgeons.

    Is It Wise To Do Pilates Before Or After Hip Replacement Surgery

    August 7, 2021 by Staff Reporter

    If you are scheduled to have hip surgery, now is the perfect time to start doing Pilates. Even if it seems counterintuitive to start this joint, doing so with the guidance of a skilled and experienced Pilates instructor will strengthen the joint muscles safely. This is just one of the many benefits of participating in Pilates before hip surgery.Pilates before surgery will also help strengthen the tissue surrounding the hip joint and maintain its range of motion. The exercises are gentle and have little or no impact, which means they can be performed even when there is femoral deterioration in the hip. In addition, Pilates helps to break down the compensation habits you may have formed. These are movements or adjustments that you have developed in your body while trying to avoid pain in your hip joint.

    Theyre normal, says Ron Jegadeesh, a Pilates instructor, physiotherapist and owner of Southfields Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center, but they also throw the body out of alignment and further exacerbate their condition.

    Pilates largely avoids high impact, high power output, and heavy muscular and skeletal loading. With the Pilates system, individual units work together in an organized scheme or method. In other words, while working to strengthen the area around the hip joint and increase its range of motion, the rest of the body is oriented as an integrated system.

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    Can A Replacement Hip Joint Be Successfully Replaced

    Q) Can an old replacement hip joint be successfully replaced?

    Susan, via email – 2015

    A) Yes, replacement joints can be replaced, but the surgery is more complicated each time it’s done. That said, 10 years wouldnt be considered that old for a replacement hip joint given that 80% of replacements last for over 20 years.

    If you’re experiencing increased symptoms from the hip joint it’s worth getting it checked out by your GP to establish where the symptoms are coming from. Sometimes pain felt in the hip region can be coming from other places such as the lower back.

    This answer was provided by Dr Tom Margham in 2015, and was correct at the time of publication.

    What Is The Best Time To Resume My Regular Activities Following A Hip Replacement Surgery

    Starting your recovery after a hip or knee replacement

    Physical therapys goal is to help you get back to your daily life. The amount of physical activity required to complete a task will determine the time it takes to accomplish that task.

    Driving: It may take up to one month for you to be able again to drive safely after having surgery on your right hip. You might be able to drive again in a matter of weeks if it was your left hip. You can start in a parking lot, then move slowly to rural roads and eventually to the highway. You might not be able to drive again if you are taking medications that can impair coordination.

    Work: You can return to work in two weeks if you have a desk job that requires little activity. It is recommended that you take off six weeks for any job that requires heavy lifting, or is otherwise difficult on your hips.

    Sports: You can return to sports that require little activity like golf when you feel at ease. You should wait six weeks for contact sports that have high-impact. You should wait six weeks for the incision to heal completely before you can get into a pool.

    Sex: You can go back to sexual activity at any time you feel like it, as long as you can do so comfortably.

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