What to Expect When Recovering From Hip Arthroscopy

Physical therapy is key in recovery after hip surgery.

Minimally invasive hip arthroscopy is generally easier on your body overall than traditional open surgery, but it’s still surgery and there’s still some recovery time necessary. Your recovery also depends on the nature and extent of the hip damage that led to arthroscopic repair.

Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for recovery can improve your results and even speed your healing after hip arthroscopy. Dr. Joshua Harris is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who is one of Houston’s most respected hip specialists. He’s an expert in hip arthroscopy and understands how vital the recovery process is to a successful surgical outcome.

Dr. Harris is happy to share a few insights regarding what you can expect when recovering from hip arthroscopy and what you can do to help ensure a successful outcome.

You are going to need a little help once you get home

If you’re in good health overall, hip arthroscopy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. This means no lengthy hospital stay. It also means you’ll be going home feeling a little groggy from the anesthesia and/or pain medications provided after the surgery. You’ll need someone to drive you home and stay with you at least the first night and next day.

You’ll have a few buttonhole-size incisions after the surgery, and it’s helpful to have someone check these for signs of infection periodically. The incisions are small and generally easy to care for but may be hard for you to reach or see initially.

You may also notice some swelling and bruising around your hip and into your leg following the surgery. This is normal. We send instructions home regarding what you can do to minimize the swelling and always encourage our patients to call with any concerns or questions during the recovery process.

Make your home crutch-friendly and use them as directed

You’ll be on crutches for a time, so make sure obstacles are cleared from the path you use to move from bedroom to bathroom, kitchen to living room, etc. Depending on the extent of the damage repaired during your arthroscopy, you may only need crutches for a few days versus several weeks if the damage was significant.

It’s imperative that you follow directions regarding use of crutches. They’re designed to support your affected hip until the joint can bear weight without risk of injury. Going without crutches too soon can interfere with your overall recovery. Using crutches too long can also slow your recovery.

Stick with physical therapy until you are released

The rehab program you undertake following hip arthroscopy is vital to your recovery. We develop a custom rehabilitation plan that’s based on your pre-surgery injury, your overall health, the activities/sports you participate in routinely, and other lifestyle factors. Our goal with rehab is to restore your mobility and provide strategies to protect your joints in the future.

Your physical therapist guides you through strengthening and flexibility exercises and creates a home exercise program that enhances your recovery process. It’s important to keep your therapy appointments and follow directions carefully for home exercises. Skipping sessions can impede recovery but trying to do too much too quickly is also harmful.

For more information about hip arthroscopy and what it can mean for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Harris today. Call the office or book your visit online.    

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