At the age of 26 the last thing I would have wanted to hear was that I would one day need a total hip replacement. After pulling up sore from a sprint at training, I was sure I had pulled a muscle in my hip flexors. It turned out to be more serious and a few weeks later I was diagnosed with Congenital Hip Displeasure. Over the course of the next 10 years I persevered with degeneration of my hip joint. When it came to the time where I could no longer bare the pain of the constant grinding and locking of my hip joint, it was time to visit the surgeon.
After doing research on how to minimise recovery in rehab post-surgery, I decided to get as fit as possible within the constraints of my ever-growing pain. Fifty percent of the studies included in a systematic review found notable results regarding beneficial types of pre-operative interventions with exercise and post-operative outcome measures. In their review of pre-operative interventions (non-surgical and non-pharmacological) for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis awaiting joint replacement surgery, Wallis and Taylor found exercise with education programmes may improve activity after hip replacement. Rooks and his team found that despite the involved joint, participating in an exercise intervention reduced the odds of discharge to a rehabilitation facility by 73%.
I began to swim laps at the local pool, increasing my fitness. I wanted to build the muscle in my legs in the gym, as time in recovery would deliver an outcome of loss of muscle mass on my operated leg. I went to the operating theatre a very fit individual at the young age of 36, full of confidence I would no longer endure the pain I have been experiencing over the previous 3-4 years of my life.
Getting up on my feet the same day just a few hours after surgery I thought was pretty amazing. Within a couple of days, I was walking and climbing stairs quite comfortably and without crutches. By the end of the first week I was able to do most functional tasks around the house. In my second week post-surgery I began to cycle. Just 2 weeks post major surgery on my hip I was back in the gym training. I was full of energy and although I was very careful I was both amazed and very happy with the speed of my recovery.
Absolute Balance currently has a programme ‘Arthritis Army’ that deals in pre-operative rehabilitation and post operative rehabilitation which is seeing great success and enhancing the lives of our clients. If you would like more info please email firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call 9244 5580.
Peter Dafinkas (B.Sc. – Exercise Physiology)
Gawel, J.A., Brown, S.E., Collins, J.C., and McCallum, C (2012) Does pre-operative physical therapy improve post-surgical outcomes of patients undergoing a total knee and/or total hip arthroplasty? A systematic review. Division of Physical Therapy, Walsh University, Canton, OH, USA
Rooks, D.S,. Huangg, J, B., ,Bolus, S.A., Rubano, J,. Connolly, C.E., Alpert, A., Iversen, M.D., and Katz, J.N (2006). Effect of pre- operative exercise on measures of functional status in men and women undergoing total hip and knee arthroplasty. Arthritis Rheum 55(5):700-8.
Wallis,J.A., and Taylor, N.F. Pre-operative interventions (non-surgical and non-pharmacological) for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis awaiting joint replacement surgery – a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoarthr Cartilage 2011;19:1381- 95.