According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) over 330,000 people over the age of 45 undergo hip replacement each year. Experts attribute this staggering number in large part to an increase in the incidence of degenerative arthritis, leading to a higher number of younger people choosing to have the surgery in order to experience better mobility and less pain.
As with any surgery, the recovery can be difficult. Because this is an invasive surgery, typically requiring an incision of about eight inches in length, pain levels may be high and mobility low for a period of months following the surgery. Some things you can do to protect the new joint and speed healing are:
- Sitting in a straight, firm and supportive chair; do not use recliners
- Avoiding stairs whenever possible, using them at a maximum of once or twice per day if necessary
- Keeping walking areas clear of clutter to avoid trips and falls
- Installing an elevated seat on the toilet in order to prevent the hips from sitting below the knees
In addition, maintaining hydration, good nutrition, and proper sleep can help your body heal faster and protect the new joint from potential damage.
Another helpful step you can take is regularly applying cold compression to the area to minimize swelling and inflammation as you heal. Using a cryotherapy machine offers many post-operative benefits, such as:
- Pain control: the icy water cycled by the EasyCryo machine deadens feelings in the nerves, which interrupts pain signals and reduces the need for narcotic and anti-inflammatory painkillers. Normal ice packs gradually melt, allowing the body temperature to rise again, whereas a machine keeps the injured area at a constantly cool temperature.
- Decrease in swelling: the main purpose of compression is to reduce swelling, and with a cryotherapy system, the user controls the level of pressure provided by the cycling air, which makes it easy to customize your recovery treatment. Swelling and inflammation happen as a result of blood rushing to the affected area as a reaction to the trauma – cold and compression slow blood flow, which reduces the risk of dangerous internal bleeding. Compression also encourages lymph drainage which is an essential component of healing.
- Consistent, full coverage of the wounded area: specially formed wraps fit the hip area perfectly, as opposed to ice packs which are difficult to conform around the entire body part. These wraps allow you to use your hands to read, eat, or do other activities while you rest and heal, rather than trying to hold awkwardly shaped ice bags around your surgical site.
- Convenient, in-home treatment: cryotherapy compression systems aren’t restricted to clinical facility use anymore. Now you can rent or buy a system to have at home so that when you come home from the hospital after your procedure, you will have access to fast and easy pain relief any time you need it, without having to travel – in pain – to the doctor’s office.
Hip replacement is a major procedure, and you want to optimize your healing ability and minimize your pain levels as much as possible so that your body will adjust to the new hip joint with minimal trauma. Cold compression therapy keeps pain and inflammation under control so that your body can focus on what’s really important – getting back to normal so you can resume your regular activities. An EasyCryo machine is a great investment into your health and full recovery.
Make your hip replacement recovery easier and less painful with these steps, including cold compression therapy. Learn more about EasyCryo today.