Each year, as many as 200,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery, which has become one of the safest surgeries for doctors to perform. In fact, the success rate for this procedure is extremely high, and very few patients report any kind of surgical complications.
This surgery involves removing the damaged sections of your hip joint and replacing them with artificial (prosthetic) parts that are made of bio-grade metal, ceramic, and/or plastic. Recovery involves the bone and other natural tissues healing and merging onto the new prosthetic materials, so this can cause a minimal amount of pain while your hip heals.
While the hip replacement surgery procedure is designed to improve your range of motion and alleviate any hip pain you may have, especially from hip arthritis, a certain amount of short-term soreness following your surgery is to be expected. Your orthopedic doctor will likely prescribe a pain medication, and they may recommend taking over-the-counter medication for any future occasional pain relief – such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) in dosages of up to 3,000 milligrams per day as recommended by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Let’s talk about what it feels like after having hip replacement surgery, and where you can go in Raleigh and the Triangle area for outstanding orthopedic treatment.
Pain Associated with Hip Replacement
You will experience a certain amount of temporary pain in the hip region following your hip surgery, but this is a muscular soreness, and typically nothing compared to the pain you have been dealing with prior to the procedure. You may feel this muscular soreness in the groin or thigh area while your body adjusts to the improved changes in your hip joint.
You may experience minimal pain in the knee due to the change at the top of your upper leg bone, but most referred pains from hip arthritis before surgery should be gone. This type of pain can be alleviated by working with your physical therapist to restore your mobility and get your strength back.
As with any surgery, it is normal to experience some pain or discomfort at the site of your incisions as part of the healing process. Fortunately, improved surgical techniques – such as smaller surgical instruments which need only small incisions – allow for surgery that preserves the adjacent muscles and soft tissues, thereby reducing the level of pain you should expect after surgery.
When Will the Pain Go Away After Hip Surgery?
While every patient’s recovery period is unique based on various personal factors, including your own underlying health, most hip replacement patients experience minor intermittent pain for about two to four weeks after their procedure. Things such as your medical history, your activity level, and the level of pain you were dealing with before your surgery will all factor into how long it will take you to fully recover.
The fewer health issues you have, the faster you can expect to recover. To speed up your recovery and gradually alleviate any lingering pain, it is important to follow your prescribed physical therapy exercise regimen and your medication schedule.
If your pain persists beyond the normal recovery period, you should follow-up with your surgeon for evaluation and repeat xray examination of your new joint.
Hip Replacement Surgeon in Raleigh, Apex, and Brier Creek, NC
Dr. Brett Gilbert is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has advanced fellowship training in hip and knee replacement surgery. If you are experiencing joint pain in your hip, Dr. Gilbert can provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options for your specific condition that are as pain-free as possible. Dr. Gilbert can also provide a second opinion on your condition and explain all of your options available to you.
To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Gilbert, call us today at (919) 788-8797 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you enjoy life without hip pain!