Superpath postop expectations

What to expect after your SuperPATH hip replacement While the experiences of patients vary somewhat, there are a number of things that patients share in common after having a hip replacement via the SuperPATH approach. Please remember that there is someone available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have after surgery. Please call 952-993-3230 with any concerns.
Walking AidesYou should use a walker, crutches, or a cane for at least 2 weeks after surgery. While some may feel that they can get away with not using any walking aides, those that push things too quickly find that they have increased pain after the first 2-4 weeks. This is usually in the groin or side of the hip. Some patients will need to use something to assist their walking for 6 weeks. The weaker you are before surgery, the longer you will need the help. Most patients stop using a cane by 2-4 weeks.
Position RestrictionsThe SuperPATH technique makes it safe to place your hip in any normal position without dislocating the implant. However, you are still having a large operation and since your recovery will be faster than most, you may feel the urge to push the limits of what your new hip can do. Please note that the tendons and other soft tissues around your hip are stiff from not moving well for a number of years. Make sure that you focus on stretching out these tight tissues as instructed by your physical therapist so that you can enjoy your rapid recovery. The tightest tissues are in the groin and the inner thigh.
Activity Restrictions
Recommend activities include: golf, walking, hiking, swimming, dancing, bowling,
bicycling, elliptical machine, treadmill use, doubles tennis, rowing, stair-stepper, low-
impact aerobics, weight machines, and cross country skiing
Recommended for the more athletically inclined: downhill skiing, doubles
racquetball, snowboarding, softball, ice skating or rollerblading, and martial arts
Not Recommended: jogging, singles tennis, high impact aerobics, and contact sports
(These are discouraged due to the higher risk of shortening the life of your implant)
Sexual activity after your SuperPATH hip replacement is only limited by comfort.
What to expect after your SuperPATH hip replacement IncisionYou have two incisions. A short one and a longer one. They have been closed with absorbable sutures under the skin and an adhesive similar to superglue on top of the skin. You are able to get the wound wet in the shower, but please do not soak it in a tub until after your first visit to see the doctor. You will need to change your dressings every day. Do not touch the incision itself and ALWAYS wash your hands well before changing your dressing. Please note the amount of drainage that you see on the dressing. As long as it continues to decrease, you are doing fine. You may see a slight amount of drainage after 3-4 days if you have increased your activity. If it is a small amount (less than the size of a quarter), do not be alarmed. If it is larger, please call 952-993-3230 to discuss it with your doctor. You may have a slight red tinge to the skin around your incision, but this is more likely some deep bruising. If redness right next to the incision becomes more significant, please call. If you are on blood thinners (pills or injections), then some patients will have significant bruising around the incision and the buttock in general. Any drainage after the 6th day (day zero is your surgery day) is a major concern and needs to be seen by your doctor in case you are developing an infection.
PainPatients typically have only mild to moderate pain with the SuperPATH technique. If your pain is not well controlled, please call right away so that we can help you with your pain. During your hospital stay and after your discharge you have been treated with what is known as multimodal pain control. This means that we address your pain in many different ways. Typically this includes Oxycodone (a short acting narcotic pain pill), Neurontin (gabapentin - a medication good for pain related to nerves which is taken at night since it makes most people sleepy), and Tylenol (non-narcotic pain pill taken an a scheduled basis every 6 hours). You should follow the instructions given to you at discharge from the hospital that are specific to your prescribed medications. Most patients have pain around the incision area and the buttock. However, a few patients, and especially those that overdo it too soon, tend to get pain in the groin area and on the outside of the hip (the boney point you lie on when you are on your side). Physical therapy can be helpful with these specific pain patterns. Ice can be very effective for pain control and the only limit to its use is to avoid frostbite. Physical TherapyPatients undergoing the SuperPATH hip replacement technique are sent to physical therapy after discharge for 6 visits. The exercises you will learn will make a big difference in avoiding the pain in the groin and outside of the hip that some patients experience. What to expect after your SuperPATH hip replacement DrivingYou can drive when you are no longer on medication that makes you drowsy. This would include narcotics (Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc) and Gabapentin - Neurontin (for those of you that are taking it). This is typically around the 2 week mark after surgery. Even if you do not “feel” drowsy, you should not drive when you are on the medicines I mentioned. If your surgery was on your right hip, then you should initially use the left foot to brake and then transition back to the right foot when you are comfortable.
Leg Length DifferenceAs your hip was wearing out, you were losing the thickness of cartilage in the joint. This shortened your leg over time. Some patients actually wear into the bone itself and shorten the leg even further. It is a rare patient that comes to surgery with the bad hip being the long leg. It is nearly always the case that the bad hip is the short leg. In surgery my goal is to make your legs exactly equal. The correction I make in your leg length happens immediately in surgery and your brain is used to the slow progression to the short leg with which you started. Therefore, you initially will feel like the side that I fixed is longer. Your legs should feel equal around 6 weeks after surgery as your brain gets used to the new signals from the muscles around your hip joint.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have in regard to your surgery. Thank you for trusting me and my team with your care. My goal is to provide the highest level of care and service to you in this journey and I look forward to any suggestions you may have that might improve your experience, or that of other hip replacement patients.


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