Many people who undergo hip resurfacing—especially the ones still in the prime of life—have concerns about resuming physical activities. If you are among the hip resurfacing seekers, the below may be of help.
- Majority of hip resurfacing patients can return home in four to six days after surgery.
- As with other surgeries, patients need to be careful not to contract infections. Later in life, if patients need to be operated on or even have dental work done, they should inform the doctor about their hip resurfacing surgery.
- After hip rehabilitation, patients experience much better range of motion and strength in the hip joint. After about a year or so, they can get back to their activity levels pre-arthritis or pre-trauma. Ultimately what you can do depends on what you used to do before arthritis developed.
- Patients who were into swimming, walking, gardening and driving can return to these after surgery.
- In a UK study on MoM hip resurfacing, 92% of men who had undergone unilateral hip resurfacing and 87% of all, were able to continue leisure-time sporting activity.
- Another paper published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine on 112 hip resurfacing patients found 51% of patients engaged in downhill skiing after surgery. A significant number participated in high impact activities like tennis (12%) and contact sports (22%). More than half of the patients were able to resume sports within three months of surgery.
- Patients who had been leading an active lifestyle were also found to resume their favorite physical activities like weight training, jogging, running, rock climbing, basketball, paragliding, football, rugby, cricket, horse riding, surfing, sailing etc.
Restrictions on Activity/Motion after Hip Resurfacing
But a good number of medical researchers favor more caution about strenuous physical activities after hip resurfacing. They point out that hip resurfacing brings in another problem that isn’t seen with hip replacement. Resurfacing preserves the femoral neck, which is highly vulnerable to fractures. So, high-impact sports may harm the area.
Athletic/Sports Activity: Hip Replacement vs. Hip Resurfacing
People who have had hip resurfacing are generally found to be engaged in more athletic activity than hip replacement patients. A study found that hip resurfacing patients were involved in at least four hours of sport every week. This could be because of good joint stability thanks to conservation of bone in hip resurfacing. But another way of looking at it is that hip resurfacing is usually recommended for younger patients (below 60 years). So, their participation in physical activity/athletics could naturally be higher than that of hip replacement patients.
To conclude, what you can safely do depends on your pre-arthritis or pre-trauma activity levels. Rock climbing and other types of rigorous outdoor activity/sport after hip resurfacing may or may not be an option to everyone. Only your orthopedic surgeon or health professional can decide this, taking into account your medical history and fitness levels. It is important to prevent weight gain and safeguard yourself from falling and accidents throughout your life.
For more information about hip-replacement and post-hip replacement care, please fill-out the request-form on the right.