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Preparing for Posterior Approach Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery
The Joint Replacement Center at Maine Medical Center offers an informative education class for patients undergoing posterior approach hip replacement surgery. The session includes an interdisciplinary team of presenters that may include nurses, rehabilitation therapists, physicians and former patients. During a question and answer period, patients and their family members are encouraged to ask questions, to help them feel comfortable as they prepare for surgery.

To strengthen their muscles and improve their range of motion, some patients may be encouraged by their surgeon to begin the physical therapy process before their surgery. At this time, patients and their families should also prepare the home for safe, post-surgical living.

To assist you in your surgery planning here is a patient pre-operative readiness checklist, and has information about preparing to return home after your joint replacement surgery.

Joint Replacement CenterTransitioning to Home - Patients undergoing posterior approach total hip replacement surgery at the Joint Replacement Center are typically in the hospital for two to three days. The surgeon determines the length of stay based on the needs of the patient. Most patients go directly home to recover. Patients who have had a total hip replacement with a posterior approach may have movement precautions recommended by their surgeon during the eight to 12 weeks following surgery. To reduce the chance of dislocating their new hip joint, they should:

  • Not bend past 90 degrees of hip flexion
  • Not cross the legs above the knee
  • Not internally rotate the leg or walk "pigeon toe"
  • Not bring the legs together

Returning to Normal Activities - During the recovery and rehabilitation process, joint pain and stiffness improve, allowing patients to gradually return to normal activities, with some restrictions on high-impact activities. Most patients are able to walk with cane within six to eight weeks of surgery and may return to driving about the same time, with their surgeon's approval.

Patient Education - Educating our patients prior to surgery is a shared priority of our interdisciplinary team. Below, please find a downloadable patient education document related to traditional total hip replacement surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions -  Posterior Approach Total Hip Replacement

Click here for an online interative education program for hip replacement surgery