Can physical therapy / rehab be conducted at home after hip replacement?

An increasing number of people are undergoing hip replacement surgery these days, primarily due to increased awareness about advancements made in medical science and the will to live life independently. At some point of time, it is highly probable that either you or someone you know may choose to undergo hip replacement surgery. The one reason that most commonly leads to hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, which is the natural wear and tear of hip joints, brought about by old age. An individual diagnosed with this condition may face enormous problems in living a normal life because even simple movements like sitting in a chair, walking and picking up things could be a painful experience. A hip replacement surgery becomes a necessity in such cases because medications and non-surgical treatment options usually prove ineffective for osteoarthritis patients.

Physical therapy / rehab after surgery

Post the hip replacementsurgery, patients would experience a completetransformation of their physical aspects. They would notice that they can start walking in just a couple of days even when the surgery had involved the largest joint in the body. Furthermore, they would experience that the orthopaedics treatment conducted by the orthopaedic doctor has significantly reduced their hip pain. However, the one thing that they might question is the rehab period, which involves several visits to the hospital for extensive physical therapy. Rehabilitation therapy post-surgery is a routine procedure and essential for gaining strength, stamina and balance.

Can physical therapy / rehab be conducted at home?

Physical therapy sessions conducted by a trained and experienced physical therapist at the hospital is likely to give better results. However, a new research study indicates that patients who were instructed to follow a specified exercise regimen at their homes performed equally well as compared to patients who received physical therapy from a professional therapist. Data was gathered over a six month period and involved various aspects such as the individual’s ability to perform tasks like sitting on a chair, using the stairs, walking, and other daily activities. The findings of the research were presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The research also revealed that physical therapyconducted at home would significantly reduce the cost of post-surgery rehab. Moreover, such an arrangement would be a lot more convenient since frequent visits to the hospital would no longer be required.

What next?

Orthopaedics treatment procedures such as hip replacement surgery are quite complex and involve critical post-operative care and physical therapy. A single research cannot be sufficient to come to a definitive conclusion. Moreover, the research is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Every patient has different needs, so the question whether you require physical therapy at the hospital or doing it yourself at your home, can be best answered by your orthopaedic doctor.

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