Hip Replacement Patients Can Skip Hip Precautions, Study Suggests
Low-risk patients undergoing a total hip replacementwith a posterior approach can skip standard hip precautions, such as only sleeping on your back, currently recommended for post-surgical recovery, according to a study at Hospital for Special Surgery. Eliminating the precautions in this population did not increase the risk of hip dislocation.
"The precautions can be limiting and cause fear in patients," said Peter K. Sculco, MD, the study’s lead author. "Sleeping on your back is very uncomfortable for many people. You often hear from physical therapists that patients are relieved when they can finally cross their legs and sleep on their side."
When patients are on stringent precautions, they are not as active, and this can hamper recovery. "If you minimize the hip precautions in an appropriate way, patients focus more on their mobility and recovery and less on the fear of how they turn their leg ten degrees," said Dr. Sculco.