Here are the five most important things to know when having hip arthroscopy.
1. PT is vital to recovery from a hip arthroscopy surgery
Rest is very important when recovering from a hip arthroscopy. Knowing what you can and cannot do is vital when going to PT while performing certain exercises. Use the exercises given as a guideline. Adjust within given guidelines and precautions as needed. Do not feel that it is required to do every exercise given. If you feel pain- STOP. Less is more in these types of situations, and going to the extent of pain will result in longer recovery time and possibly another injury or even re-injury. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to get rid of pain and inflammation, protect integrity of repaired tissue; restore range of motion (ROM) within restriction, and prevention of muscular inhibition.
2. What can I do to speed up my recovery?
Nothing. Time heals everything, and in this case time is the answer to recovery! There is nothing specific that can make this process go faster. However, being patient will lead to an overall better outcome with the quickest recovery time as it will help to avoid setbacks. Setbacks in recovery is the single most common reason for a longer than expected recovery. How do you avoid setbacks? Take it easy, give your body time to heal and do NOT push yourself until your doctor clears you to do so. Everyone recovers at a different pace so being patient is key.
3. Recovery is a rollercoaster — DON’T PANIC!
You can never predict what you will feel each day after a hip arthroscopy. One day you will have little to no pain, where the next day the pain you experience is unbearable. If this is the case, do not panic! There are many ups and downs throughout the recovery process, so don’t feel that one bad day or a bad day every so often means your recovery will fail. If you wake up one day with no pain, that is not a free pass to do whatever you want. Take it easy and don’t over do it! Having zero pain does not mean you are fully healed and having some pain does not mean your surgery has failed. If you have any questions about the pain you are experiencing certainly contact your doctor. But remember, experiencing pain or discomfort is normal. It’s all a part of the hip arthroscopy recovery.
4. Generally, discomfort is more of an issue than pain.
In this type of situation, people are generally feeling discomfort rather than pain. Having hip pain and trying to find a comfortable position can be challenging. Following a hip arthroscopy you will look to find a position that does not cause you pain, although you may not be what you would normally consider “comfortable.” For example, after surgery, you may find that sleeping on your back offers you the most relief from pain. However, you may not necessarily be a “back sleeper” so you wouldn’t use the word “comfortable” to describe this position. Until you get further along in recovery, adopt the mindset that discomfort does not equal pain. If you’re discomfort does not get better as you progress through recovery, reach out to your doctor to see what suggestions he may have.
5. You SHOULD be moving around after surgery, but NOT running!
Generally speaking, after surgery one should be moving around at his or her own pace. NOT to the level of pain, but just to the point where you are moving your body and hip comfortably. Getting up and moving will result in a better recovery rather than sitting and being sedentary 24/7. Now with that said, that doesn’t mean go run around and do extraneous activity right after surgery. There is a HAPPY MEDIUM with each patient and finding that happy medium is key for a good recovery. Walk to the mailbox, take a lap around your living room, and switch positions from sitting to laying to standing. These are all little things that a patient can, and should, do after surgery. If you think after surgery you will be/ have to be immobile, that is not the case. It is actually quite the contrary. A lack of activity after surgery can actually result in setbacks and a more painful/difficult recovery. Following surgery, every hip arthroscopy patient should be bearing weight. The amount of weight varies depending on the procedure, so just check with your doctor before bearing your full amount of weight. The real harm can be caused if you do not bear any weight at all as that will cause more damage to your hip flexor muscles.