Hip replacements are becoming more common every year. They are often recommended for patients who suffer from arthritis or other degenerative conditions.
The good news is that running is safe after hip surgery. In fact, it can even improve your recovery time.
However, you will need to be cleared by your doctor first and have gone through some sort of rehabilitation process to get to the point where you are ready to run again.
Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy. It helps build muscle strength, improves cardiovascular health, and burns calories. Running also reduces stress levels and boosts self-esteem.
Unfortunately, some people are unable to exercise due to their medical condition. This means they cannot run safely.
But can you run after a hip replacement? Let’s find out!
Can I Run After A Hip Replacement?
A hip replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces damaged parts of the hip joint with artificial materials. Patients usually recover well after hip replacement.
However, they should rest for at least two weeks before resuming normal activities.
Patients who have had a total hip replacement will not be able to run until the surgeon clears them to do so. A partial hip replacement may allow you to start running as early as one month after surgery.
If you are unsure whether you need a partial or full hip replacement, consult your doctor.
Total hip replacement is a surgical operation used to replace all the bones and joints in the hip region. It is performed on older adults whose hips have been weakened by osteoarthritis (degeneration).
The good news is that running after hip replacement is just as safe as running before surgery. Most patients return to regular activities within three months.
However, you must take extra precautions after hip replacement. For example, you should avoid high impact sports such as jogging and tennis. Also, you should never lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
After hip replacement, you may notice swelling or bruising around the incision site. These symptoms usually go away within a few days. You may also feel soreness in your lower back and legs.
These symptoms are perfectly natural and will subside once your body adjusts to its new state.
It is important to keep up with your rehabilitation routine after hip replacement. This includes taking frequent walks and stretching.
Talk to your doctor before starting any new physical activity program to make sure you are ready for it.
If you have additional questions about how to prepare yourself for or perform an activity such as running, please contact your doctor or physical therapist.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hip Replacement Surgery?
Recovery from hip replacement surgery takes anywhere from six to eight weeks. The length of time depends on several factors, including the type of surgery you receive.
Most people have no problems recovering from hip replacement surgery. They begin walking and moving their legs freely within two to four weeks.
By the end of this period, they should be able to walk without crutches.
Your recovery progress will depend on your overall health and fitness level prior to surgery. In addition, your post-operative care regimen will affect your recovery.
For instance, if you have had previous joint surgeries, you may need more time to heal. If you smoke, you may have difficulty healing because smoking damages blood vessels, tissues, and bone cells.
As mentioned, you can expect some minor complications following hip replacement surgery. Some of these include:
- Swelling at the incision site
- Soreness in the lower back and legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
These side effects usually resolve over time. However, if you develop one of these conditions, talk to your doctor right away.
Recommended Steps To Start Running After Hip Replacement
Once your doctor or surgeon has cleared you for running, there are certain things to do as you transition from walking to running again.
Firstly, make sure you can walk properly or with the assistance of walking poles.
Using walking poles as assistance as a first step is a great idea, as they will help take pressure off of your joints while you reestablish your walking and strengthen your muscles around the legs and hips.
Take it slowly-as the saying goes, you cannot run before you can walk. Make sure you have regained the right amount of strength to start running.
This can be done by pursuing low impact sports like swimming to strengthen your muscles.
When you do start running, be sure to start off on flat surfaces, and you will want to ensure that you are wearing the correct shoes.
This will help ensure that the hip joint stays in place and is not dislocated. Another thing to do is to make use of a stationary bike to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility in the hip.
In summary, here is a bulleted list of guidelines to follow when you start running again after a hip replacement.
You Can Continue To Run After Hip Replacement Surgery If You Follow These Guidelines
- Do not overdo it. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level.
- Be patient. Your body needs time to recover.
- Walk slowly.
- Stretch frequently. Stretching helps prevent injury.
- Warm up first. Warming up reduces muscle stiffness and improves flexibility.
- Consult your physician before beginning any new physical activity program.
- Wear proper shoes when exercising. Your orthopedic surgeon will recommend which type of shoe best suits your needs.
- Avoid high impact exercises such as jogging.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Take breaks during long runs and rest between sets.
- Use light weights. Heavy weights increase stress on joints and muscles.
- Drink plenty of water. Water flushes toxins through the system.
- Eat well. Healthy foods help promote healthy bones and joints.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases fatigue and makes it harder to recover.
- Listen to your body. If you experience pain while exercising, stop immediately. Pain signals that something is wrong.
As you start out on your running journey, you may feel pain and tenderness in your hips. It is important to stop and keep the hip iced and elevated.
Once you feel better, you can try running again. If you experience pain while running, stop immediately.
Pain in the hip area is very common after hip replacement. Additionally, you may feel discomfort in the groin, thigh, knee, or calf muscles.
What Pain Is The Wrong Kind Of Pain
As mentioned, it is normal to experience some pain when starting to run again.
Signs that you have pushed yourself too far include: having to take painkillers in between running sessions, significant swelling in the hip or in the thigh or groin area, popping or squeaking noises, or any lumps or bumps in the hip area.
If you experience these symptoms, be sure to stop immediately and consult your doctor.
Activities to Avoid After A Hip Replacement
In most cases, high impact sports or activities should be avoided, even if you are given the green light to start building up to running again.
These high impact activities which put strain on the joints include tennis, skiing, snowboarding, heavy lifting, football or any sport where you may be prone to falling should be avoided as well.
Sports or activities that are recommended include swimming, yoga, water aerobics and walking. Try these and build up your strength first before running.
Running after a hip replacement can be done, but it is a journey and should not be rushed.
There are many risks involved with starting this form of exercise after a massive surgery like hip replacements, and so strength in and around the hip joint should be built up over time.
If you have any questions about how to prepare for or perform an activity like running, please contact your physician or physical therapist.