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Avoiding total hip surgery

Hip surgery is one of the most frequent procedures performed in hospitals today, as osteoarthritis of the hip takes its toll on a number of elderly and not-so-elderly people. Hip fractures, also common in the elderly, may necessitate hip surgery, which can lay you up for weeks or even months. You can delay or prevent this altogether with a program developed by your physiotherapist.

We will first begin by evaluating your present level of functioning, strength and range of motion. He/she will also consider your lifestyle, needs and goals before designing a program of exercise and pain management. The latter is important to allow you to perform the movements comfortably. Pain management may include the use of heat to relax muscles and increase blood flow. Heat may be in the form of hot packs, ultrasound or electrical stimulation.

Many arthritis sufferers complain of stiffness in the joints. This makes walking and other everyday activities painful and difficult. When pain restricts movement, the joint is not used and may shorten or atrophy from disuse. You may also acquire a limp to compensate for the discrepancy. Your exercise routine will consist of stretching to relieve tightness, increase range of motion, promote flexibility and balance between the limbs. Stretches will be gentle to the point of discomfort, increasing gradually as the pain lessens and range of motion improves.

Another focus of your therapy will be education in joint protection. We will train you to perform strengthening exercises without putting too much stress on the joints. Activities such as lifting and bending may have to be modified in order to protect and prevent further injury to the joints. Use wheeled carts for carrying heavy objects so you don't have to lift. These and other techniques will go a long way in helping you avoid the dreaded hip surgery.

As always, you should first call us to make an appointment where we may analyse your case and develop a workable rehabilitation program.


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