Running After Hip Replacement Surgery

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Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A., wants to congratulate you! You have taken a big step in improving your quality of life by getting hip replacement surgery. Whether it be for pain management for arthritis, a degenerative hip condition, or injury, hip replacement surgery can help restore movement that you may have thought you had lost forever.
Healing is slow, and many patients become impatient. With determination and consistent therapy, the patient can return to many activities. Still, the standard recovery time for surgery lasts between six weeks to several months post op, depending on the patient’s health and fitness before surgery. This article will address what a patient should expect if they wish to return to running after a hip replacement.
Post-Surgery Activity
For some hip replacement surgery recipients, one big concern is the level of activity a hip replacement would afford them post-surgery. For example, would running be possible after hip replacement surgery?
The answer? In some cases, an activity such as running might not be advisable after hip replacement surgery. Running is considered a high-impact activity that could accelerate the wear and tear of the prosthetic’s surfaces.
For others, the answer is conditional on a couple of factors: First, what is the patient’s bone quality? Are their bones fragile and prone to fracture, or are they reasonably dense and strong? Second, what type of prosthetic materials were used for the surgery? Metals, plastics, ceramics, or a combination? Currently, ceramic or ceramic-polyethylene prostheses are popular because of their durability.
Conditioning for Running
Should a hip replacement surgery patient decide that they would like to run, doctors will instruct the patient what essential steps must be taken to ensure that running will not damage the new hip joint or bring new pain. For hip replacement patients that decide to run, it is advised that they take the following steps before they proceed:
Stretching. It is vital to begin any significant activity with stretching. Remember that all muscles help support the hips, so stretch arms, legs, back, and hips before running.
Walking. Begin by walking at a slower pace. After a few minutes, advance to power walking, then running.
Good form. Pay attention to your form when walking and or running. Avoid using jarring movements. Instead, use smooth, fluid motion to reduce wear and tear on the new joints.
Start slowly. A good strategy is to start with shorter distances before advancing to longer ones.
Avoid falling. The last thing you want to do is fall and damage your new hip joint. Instead, walk and run on smooth, even surfaces. Keep your eyes ahead to watch for obstacles that could be tripping hazards.
Don’t push it. If you notice increased pain, stiffness, or inflammation after running, make adjustments, and consult your doctor about your next steps.
With the proper care, hip replacement surgery can successfully improve the quality of a patient’s life for a long time.
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.
Have you had hip replacement surgery and are searching for a pain management doctor in Rocky Mount NC? Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A. can help. After an examination, our doctors can recommend a treatment plan to reduce pain and get you back to the activities you love, even running. Contact us today at 252-443-0400 and set up an appointment.