Rebounding from a hip replacement operation can be a lengthy and hard process. Many patients wonder how long they will use a walker after their procedure.
The good news is that with hard work, most patients can get rid of their walker within six weeks, if they follow the advice of their doctor, actively participate in physical therapy, and are in generally good health.
- Recovering mobility after a hip operation may take some time.
- Canes and walkers make the process easier.
- A standard rolling walker with two front wheels is likely the safest option to help regain mobility.
This blog post will provide insight into what to expect during recovery, the advantages of walking with a walker after surgery, tips on using walkers safely, and when medical attention is needed if something goes awry.
How Long Do You Use a Walker After Hip Replacement?
Doctors recommend that patients wait at least six weeks after hip replacement surgery before they can stop using a walker.
Some individuals will regain their strength faster, while others will need a walker or other mobility aid for longer than six weeks.
The timeline will be influenced by factors like the nature of the surgery and the person’s overall health following a hip replacement.
It is essential to speak with your physician for individualized advice.
Benefits of Walking After Hip Replacement
Improved mobility is one of the most significant advantages. After the procedure, you will likely experience increased mobility and decreased discomfort compared to pre-surgery.
- The increased mobility will build confidence, help you regain independence, and reduce your reliance on others for daily activities.
- Reduced pain is another benefit of walking after hip replacement surgery. As you build up strength in the area around your hip replacement, walking without distress or putting undue pressure on other body parts, such as your back and knees, will become simpler.
Regular exercise improves circulation and oxygenation throughout the body while strengthening bones and muscles.
With consistent effort, you should notice an improvement in stamina, enabling longer periods of activity without fatigue.
How Long Should You Walk After Hip Replacement?
After hip replacement surgery, it is important to take short walks. Short-paced walks help reduce the risk of blood clots and keep muscles active while they heal.
Gradually increase the distance with your physical therapist’s guidance to ensure a safe recovery.
You must also listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Avoid climbing stairs.
What Type of Walker is Best for Post-Surgery?
The standard walker is the best and most effective option for getting around post-hip replacement surgery.
Standard walkers feature four legs with two large front-end wheels, allowing users greater control when moving around.
They also come equipped with handles that can be adjusted according to the user’s height, providing added comfort and control.
The benefit of this type of walker is that it exercises the hip, but provides stability via the patient’s arms as they hold the walker.
Patients move the walker in front of them and carefully take steps into the well of the walker until they are caught up with the walker.
The wheels of a walker can be either inside or outside. For stability, keep the wheels outside. For narrow areas, install the wheels inside.
However, standard walkers are not ideal for those lacking strength or with severe balance issues.
Tips for Safely Using a Walker After Hip Replacement Surgery
Practicing proper posture while walking with the walker can help reduce pain and fatigue.
Stand tall with your shoulders back, hold the handles of the walker securely, keep your elbows slightly bent at a comfortable angle, and take short steps forward using both feet.
It is also important to use the walker on even surfaces whenever possible, as uneven ground can cause instability or falls, which could damage your new joint.
When to Seek Medical Attention After Hip Replacement Surgery?
Pain is normal after surgery. However, too much pain or other symptoms accompanying the pain are warning signs you must have checked out by your medical team.
Redness or Warmth Around the Joint Area:
Redness around the surgical incision site may occur due to inflammation during normal healing.
However, persistent redness or warmth on the skin that spreads beyond one inch from your surgery scar could indicate an infection.
A temperature of over 100° F combined with chills can indicate an infection post-THA surgery. If these symptoms are present, go to your doctor, Urgent Care, or an emergency room.
Ignoring them could lead to life-threatening complications such as sepsis.
The following are frequently asked questions of hip replacement patients.
How Long Does It Take to Walk Without a Limp After Hip Replacement?
Generally, most individuals can expect to walk without a limp after hip replacement several months after their procedure.
They will need physical therapy and should follow all post-operative instructions from their medical team.
How Far Should You Be Walking Four Weeks After Hip Replacement?
After about a month, most patients can walk about one half an hour each day, four weeks after their procedure.
It is important that patients take their time and set a goal of about a mile a day.
Walking is an important part of the recovery process after hip replacement surgery. Employing a walker can assist in recovery, regain mobility, and decrease the possibility of slips or other traumas.
Doctors recommend that you use a walker for at least six weeks following surgery, but this timeline may vary depending on the individual and what their doctor says.