Importance of Rehab After Hip Replacement Surgery: A Guide to Complete Recovery
Rehab after hip replacement surgery may not sound very important but it is the best way to ease the pain and swelling, avoid relapses and get closer to complete recovery. If you are still in doubt, this story will help you decide.
34 year old Anuradha Dev an HR manager with a multinational firm in Hyderabad has a tale which everyone needs to hear. 4 years back her husband had to undergo a hip replacement surgery. The surgery went well but after discharge from the hospital her husband had a minor fall and he had to be readmitted to the hospital. The treating doctor said that better post-operative care could have averted the unfortunate incident.
A clueless Anuradha wondered about why the fall happened in the first place. She gave him his medicines herself, had arranged for a walker for him to move about, and had also placed a side table next to his bed with all things that he would require, reducing his need to move around. She also took him personally for the follow-up visits to the doctor and to a physiotherapist. The only thing she couldn’t manage was not being exhausted and worrying constantly. Could that be the reason for the mishap? Well caregiver burnout is the primary reason for patient hazards but we won’t be talking about that in this blog.
Anuradha recalls how she was advised by a friend to consider admitting her husband in a rehabilitation centre and how appalled she was. “Why would my husband need rehab when he had undergone a successful surgery?” she remembers saying at that time.
But she cannot be blamed. The way she reacted was a way most people would. Rehabilitation is synonymous for serious conditions and for the sick. But a pertinent question to ask here would be- is that the entire truth? Let’s find out
What is Rehab?
Rehab is based on one basic principle which most are oblivious to. It is uninterrupted care or treatment. When a person undergoes a surgery or is admitted for a specific medical condition to a hospital, they need continued care without any gaps after discharge from the hospital. This continuation of treatment is crucial to avoid relapses that could lead to readmission as in Anuradha’s husband’s case.
Rehab is available in rehabilitation or continuum care centres. This concept is very popular in the west as it is mandatory for patients to stay in these care centres after discharge till they are stable enough to go home. This helps them recover better and faster. Fortunately in India this concept has now been introduced by reputed institutions like Sukino healthcare that are offering comprehensive rehab services in Bengaluru and Kochi. These centres have doctors, nurses and caretakers on 24/7 duty along with physiotherapists, dietitians and psychotherapists.
What’s more? They also offer nutritious meals and laundry services that are cost-effective.
This is what Anuradha the manager could have done differently.
Instead of constantly tiring herself out by attending to her husband’s needs while at home, running around for his physiotherapy, follow up visits and medicines, she could’ve taken a smarter decision. She could’ve admitted him to a continuum centre where he would have received all the care and help under one roof. This would have helped save her energy, put her husband through lesser trauma, would have also saved her the additional cost of readmission and would have helped him recovery faster.
Looking back, Anuradha admits that if she had known about the rehabilitation/ continuum care centres and how rehab could have helped her husband, things would have been different. Her husband suffered a dislocation after the fall. The ball of the new joint came out of the socket, and a brace was required to keep the hip in the correct position. A surgery was further needed to stabilise it and he had to spend another 15 days in the hospital for the same.
For the ones who wish a more pleasant outcome of a hip replacement, rehab is ideal and this is how it helps:
Benefits of rehab after hip replacement
- Eases the pain in the affected area
- Reduces inflammation in the hip joint
- Helps maintain proper blood circulation
- Restores hip joint strength and mobility
- Strengthens supporting muscles
- Eliminates joint and muscle stiffness
- Improves balance
- Helps return to normal movement and day to day activities
- Reduces the risk of readmission to hospital
- Saves time, money and effort.
- Facilitates complete and quicker recovery
However it has to be noted that although for most hip replacement surgeries the recovery time is about two to four weeks with rehab but it can be different for different people. It depends on how active a person was before surgery, their age, their nutritional status , lifestyle and if they have any preexisting medical conditions.
As for Anuradha, she is now wiser. Rehab the word doesn’t send her off in a frenzy anymore and she has even advised two of her friends to opt for these services that save lives.
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