New Hip At Work
After years of daily use, hip joints are prone to wear and tear or injuries. Over time, the cartilage and bone also cannot perform as well, leading to a rise in hip pain, weakness, and limited mobility. A total hip replacement surgery seeks to address the issues of arthritis and injury. More than 330,000 Americans have a better quality of life thanks to a prosthetic replacement. A common question is when to return to work after a hip replacement. With minimally invasive surgery (MIS), patients need to take time off to heal, but the recovery period is much shorter.
What happens during hip replacement?
The goal of a total joint replacement is to remove the damaged or diseased joint and install a metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthetic. The surgical team chooses the right-sized prosthetic based on the patient’s body type. The surgery begins with the patient under general anesthesia. Next, 1-2 small incisions are made in the hip to access the affected joint. The surgeons will then remove the damaged ball and socket joint and hollow out the femur to fit the prosthesis. The new joint is fitted into the space and held with a special compound.
Same-day service, less stress
Why is minimally invasive surgery so popular? With open surgery, patients are required to spend a few days in the hospital for recovery. With MIS, the patient can leave on the same day as the incisions are smaller. Patients can even arrange for surgery at an ambulatory surgical center (ASC), which caters to outpatient surgery only. In addition, same-day surgery makes joint replacement a stress-free process and reduces the chance of infections.
Smaller incisions, fewer scars
Open surgery required incisions several inches through the hip muscles and tissue. These incisions mean that the patient experiences much more pain and higher chances of complications. Large incisions also leave large scars, which can discourage patients from the surgery. With MIS, only 1-2 incisions less than a few centimeters long are required. The result is a more aesthetically pleasing scar.
Smooth recovery, higher success
People undergoing total hip replacement require physical therapy (PT) during recovery. The patient will perform exercises to improve the range of motion (ROM) and strengthen the hip. Since minimally invasive surgery results in less post-op pain, the patient can perform therapy more frequently. A smoother recovery also leads to higher success rates. On average, doctors see a 95% success rate with joint replacement.
Returning to work
With minimally invasive surgery, patients can return to work faster than usual. The average recovery time is 4-6 weeks if PT is done consistently. After 4 weeks, most patients can resume desk work. Jobs that require lifting or strenuous work will require 6 weeks of recovery or longer. Some healthy patients start physical therapy before surgery as part of a rapid recovery protocol. These patients begin walking much faster, which speeds up the return date even further. On average, MIS and rapid recovery PT make the recovery period much shorter than the 8-10 weeks required for open surgery.
Get hip to MIS
There’s no need to endure years of hip pain, stiffness, and discomfort. If non-surgical treatment fails, consider total hip replacement. With minimally invasive surgery, the patient benefits from faster recovery, fewer complications, and higher success rates. More importantly, only 4-6 weeks of downtime are required before returning to work, with some cases needing significantly less recovery time.