Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Mum's Top Tips For Recovering From A Hip Operation



With Christmas so close now that I can almost touch it, my mind has been going back over the last few Christmases we've had - and one in particular sprung to mind which has inspired todays post.

A couple of years ago, just a couple of weeks before Christmas, we got the shock news that my mum had taken a particularly nasty fall at work.

She worked in the kitchens of a private hospital at the time, and she'd slipped over on some stray food and landed awkwardly. We thought she'd maybe sprained something, but we were in for quite a surprise when it turned out that she'd actually broken her hip and needed to have a replacement.

It was something that she was very unprepared for, being pretty young at just 60 and we didn't really know what to expect from it all.

As she has a severe fear of being put under general anesthetic, she chose to stay awake for the operation which I think ended up being quite a traumatic experience for her and for a few months afterwards she struggled to get to grips with the changes to what her body was able to do now and what it wasn't...as well as the changes around the house that would make life easier for her.

Now that she's 2 years post-op, I thought it would be nice to ask her to share her top tips for recovering from a hip replacement operation for anybody else who finds themselves or a relative in the same situation.

So here they are!

1) Attend Physio Appointments

My mum credits these as being the help to her recovery of all. She was nervous to attend them at first and was doubtful about how beneficial they would be, but she feels she really got a lot out of them - not only physically but with advice and support in the recovery process too.

2) Don't Be Too Proud To Use Aids To Make Life Easier

Bathing was one of the most difficult parts of the recovery process, and it took quite a while to get to grips with the most comfortable and safe way of getting in and out of the bath without help.

Eventually my mum found the best way was to kneel down in the bath but obviously this all depends on your ability level and what feels comfortable for you.

Investing in a non-slip bath mat and a hand rail to help steady you as get in and out is a good idea, as anything you can do to avoid a fall should be done and if you have someone around who can help you then do take them up on it.

It's worth considering investing in a mobility bathroom makeover, as a walk-in bath would make life after a hip operation a great deal easier - you can find more about mobility bathrooms HERE

3) Keep Moving

Sitting in the same position was the worst thing in my Mums experience and she had to keep reminding herself to get up often and stretch her legs, or at least just change position regularly.

Another tip was to avoid crossing your legs when sitting as this can be quite dangerous in the first months following a hip replacement.

4) Keep Active But Know Your Limits

It's important to get out and about as much as possible when recovering in order to keep moving, but its also important to respect and accept your new limitations so as not too push things too far too soon and do more damage.

5) And finally, don't just focus on the physical healing but be sure to make sure that you're healing any mental scars too - particularly if your hip op came about following a fall or an accident of some sort.
The fear of falling she was left with and the traumatic memories of the sounds and smells in surgery were without doubt the worst part for my Mum, and I think it's so important to seek professional help for this if its causing you sleepless nights or worry. The NHS offer trauma counselling through their Depression & Anxiety service which you can self refer to, or speak to your GP for more advice.

I hope this tips are helpful to anyone out there who is recovering from a hip replacement.

My mum is now 2 years post-op and her mobility is almost completely back to normal, infact you'd never even know she'd had one.

Wishing you all the best for a smooth recovery.

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