Congratulations on your new hip!

You have traded in the nightmare of constant pain and stiffness, going from limiting your ability to enjoy life to a life of amazing possibilities.

Now the key is to get the most out of your hip replacement surgery, to make your life from here forward that much more enjoyable.  You need to recover well and work toward a healthier lifestyle.  Your previous pain has led you to a more sedentary life, you avoided movement and exercise because it caused you pain. The effect of this is weakened muscles in your hip.  A full recovery from hip replacement will take many months.

Keep a close eye on your incision to avoid infection. Keep your incision clean and dry and wash hands or wear gloves before changing dressings. Follow the discharge instructions given and contact your surgeon with any questions or concerns. Some possible warning signs would be:

  • Redness around the incision
  • Drainage from the incision
  • Fever and chills

Physical activity after surgery reduces your risk of developing blood clots. You will be surprised how quickly the nurse get you up and around to promote circulation.  If you notice new swelling or tenderness to the touch of the affected leg, contact your hip replacement surgeon immediately. These are signs of possible clots.

Working with a physical therapist or trainer allows them to design a routine to restore strength and mobility to your hip. This paves the way to a full recovery and gradual return to everyday activities plus others you may enjoy. Now is not the time to baby yourself because you had surgery, it is the time to rebuild wisely with the right guidance.

Physical therapy after hip replacement usually begins the day after surgery while still in the hospital. You will be amazed that within days you can walk with a walker, crutches, or a cane. You will continue physical therapy for several weeks to even several months following the surgery. Everyone heals and strengthens at their own pace after surgery. Physical Therapy, whether as an outpatient or in-home, is essential. Just as in the gym, no pain…no gain.  Follow the instructions given by the professionals and you will see the difference in your ability to enjoy life. It will be much easier for you to participate in regular exercise in time.

Speak with your surgeon and physical therapist and discuss what you can do on your own to speed up your recovery time.  There are simple exercises you can do while lying in bed, just watching television, that increase circulation and strengthen your weakened muscles.

  1. Pump those ankles… slowly push your foot up and down, bending and flexing
  2. Rotate your ankles…moving in circles inward and outward
  3. Knee Bends in bed…. slowly slide your foot toward your buttocks, keeping your heel on the bed without rolling your knee inward. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and straighten
  4. Buttock Contractions…. slowly tighten and release while lying flat
  5. Abduction Exercise…. slowly scissoring your legs while lying flat
  6. Quadriceps Set. … Tighten your thigh muscle while trying to straighten your knee, hold and release.
  7. Straight Leg Raises…. Tighten your thigh muscle with your knee fully straightened on the bed, lifting your leg several inches. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Slowly lower.

Eventually you will be ready to graduate to exercises done in a standing position…full recovery here you come!

A visit to Dr. Marshall P. Allegra will answer all of your questions about hip replacement surgery and the recovery period.  He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. As an expert diagnostician, Dr. Allegra can expertly determine the best treatment options to return you to your normal, pain-free life.

A Look At Common Winter Orthopedic Injuries

During the winter months, adults and children alike look forward to seasonal fun such as skiing and snowboarding, ice skating, and even just walking, hiking and running in a winter wonderland.

Yet with these fun outdoor pastimes come seasonal orthopedic risks. As every orthopedic surgeon knows, orthopedic injuries spike after a heavy snowfall. Winter injuries can range from mild and easily treatable to severe and long-term – the types of injuries that generally require immediate attention from an orthopedic surgeon.

So, before you head out to any winter games, chores, or other activities in the cold weather, it’s important to be aware of injuries that are common during this time of year, and how to avoid them.

Snow Sport Injuries

A study conducted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission ranked injuries from winter sports by volume. Snowboarding accounted for the most injuries, followed by downhill skiing, sledding and tobogganing, and ice skating.

How to Prevent Snow-Sport Injuries

For starters, never engage in winter sports without the company of a friend or companion. Always carry a cellphone to call for help in the case of an emergency. You should also be physically warmed up and dressed in the necessary protective gear for your winter sport.

Before you begin, inspect your equipment to ensure reliable performance throughout the course of your activity. Stay hydrated and refrain from overexertion; a lot of the injuries that orthopedic doctors treat are caused from excessive strain in the final run of a game or activity.

Other Wintertime Injury Risks

When sidewalks, driveways, stairwells, and patios are paved with ice and snow, people are more vulnerable to slip-and-fall injuries. Wounds to the head are common during winter falls, as are wrist and hip fractures. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid the outdoors on icy days unless you must go out for something. When you do go outdoors, wear footwear with rubber traction and take slower, shorter steps wherever you walk.

Shoveling snow is one of the most loathsome winter jobs. It can take a long time and often requires a lot of physical exertion. It’s not unusual to experience muscle strain when shoveling snow or scraping ice off the car.

Most of us must carry on with work and normal activities, even after a snowstorm. Wet pavement, sleet and slush, and coverings of snow and ice can make roadways dangerous. Take proper safety precautions to avoid winter-related vehicle collisions.

What to Do If You Suffer a Winter Orthopedic Injury

It’s important to first access the severity of the injury. Sometimes muscle injuries can be treated with ibuprofen and by applying ice. Always follow-up with an orthopedic physician is pain and swelling don’t subside.

More severe injuries will need to be assessed and treated immediately by an orthopedic surgeon and may require a trip to the nearest emergency department for diagnostic tests, including X-rays or an MRI.

Educate yourself and your family about potential winter incidents and accidents and you’ll be more prepared to prevent them.

Follow these winter injury prevention tips and enjoy a safe and happy winter season.

Considering Hip Surgery?

Surgery involving the hips is often necessary to restore mobility as well as alleviate pain. Hip surgery can correct a physical defect or repair damage sustained in an accident. There are several different types of hip surgery that are common today, ranging from hip repair to full hip replacement.

Some forms of hip surgery are aimed at repairing fractures somewhere on the femur. Hip pinning and hip fixation are two examples. Screws are inserted to mobilize the fracture and facilitate the healing process.

Hip fractures usually occur from a fall or from a direct blow to the side of the hip. Some medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, or stress injuries can weaken the bone and make the hip more susceptible to breaking.

Hip arthroscopy may be performed before any major hip surgery. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that gives doctors a clear view of the inside of a joint. This helps surgeons diagnose and even treat joint problems with minimally invasive surgical techniques.

During hip arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your hip joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.

When it comes to arthroplasty procedures for the hip, there are a few major varieties that are currently employed. These procedures can range from a partial replacement, or “hemi-arthroplasty,” to a full replacement, called a “total hip” arthroplasty.

Hip arthroscopy has emerged as an alternative to more invasive hip replacement surgeries. Hip arthroscopy has been a special focus of my practice for the past five years.

Total hip replacement may be an option if your hip pain interferes with daily activities and more conservative treatments haven’t helped. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement.

If you have exhausted all non-invasive treatments to alleviate your hip pain, consult with an orthopedic surgeon on procedures that may be right for you. As with any surgery, consulting an orthopedic physician experienced in hip surgery procedures will result in the most successful outcome. Physical therapy following surgery will help you return to your optimal level of functionality, and your fastest return to normal activities.

Orthopedic & Hip and Knee Reconstructive Surgery

Orthopedic Reconstructive Surgery

The most successful orthopedic reconstructive surgical outcomes combine the best of modern medicine with a compassionate and personalized approach.

Whether you’re dealing with arthritic pain or suffering from an injury, you deserve the best orthopedic care personally delivered by a skilled surgeon that you trust.

Whether searching for a solution for inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis; cartilage or ligament problems; revision surgery, minimally invasive surgery, partial joint replacement surgery, or total joint replacement surgery, you should select an experienced orthopedic surgeon who will work diligently and compassionately to address your needs and lead you step by step from diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation and wellness.

Hip and Knee Reconstructive Surgery

Hip arthroscopy has emerged as an alternative to more invasive hip replacement surgeries. While technically challenging, hip arthroscopy can help to relieve the pain that results from injury or chronic conditions of the soft tissue surrounding the hip joint.

As one of the few orthopedic surgeons in Monmouth County who regularly performs hip arthroscopy, this procedure is proven to bring pain relief to patients who previously would have required more extensive procedures.  Hip arthroscopy has been a special focus of my practice for the past five years.

The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the easiest to injure, making it the most often treated joint by orthopedic surgeons.

An orthopedist can use arthroscopy to take a direct look at the inside of your knee joint and determine what kind of repair is required. When used to treat ligament and meniscal tears and other types of serious knee injuries, arthroscopy decreases postoperative pain, risk of complications and recovery time.

You and your doctor may consider knee replacement surgery if you have a stiff, painful knee that makes it difficult to perform even the simplest of activities and other treatments are no longer working.

Minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized knee replacement surgery, requiring a much smaller incision, just 3 to 5 inches, versus the standard approach and long incision. This less invasive approaches results in less pain, decreased recovery time and better motion due to less scar tissue formation.

The vast majority of people who undergo knee joint replacement surgery enjoy dramatic improvement. Once muscle strength is restored through physical therapy, knee joint replacement patients can often return to many activities that were previously restricted due to pain and decreased range of motion.

You are a person with distinctive needs and concerns. Choose an experienced orthopedic surgeon who can answer your questions and address your medical and surgical needs as well as provide resources and support to help you maximize your everyday activities.