An artificial hip is also called a hip prosthesis. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint; this consists of a cup and a bowl. Both are replaced with a total hip prosthesis. There is also a half hip prosthesis (head-neck prosthesis), in which only the femoral head is replaced.

Most people can move more easily with a hip replacement than before the operation. Quiet sports such as walking, swimming, golfing and cycling can be done safely. Ball sports such as basketball, football and volleyball or running should be avoided.

How long will my hip remain sensitive / painful?

Your leg may be thicker than the other leg after surgery, this is not uncommon. You can reduce your fatigue by raising your legs every day and getting back into motion. This can take several months. The pain after hip replacement gradually diminishes, starting about 1-2 weeks after surgery. Advice is to use your painkiller if there’s any prescription from your surgeon.

When can I cycle and drive a car again?

If you also cycled regularly before the operation, you can start cycling again about six weeks after the operation. You must have enough control over your leg again and you must certainly feel good enough to cycle. Preferably use a ladies bike because of the low entry. Exercise on an exercise bike is recommended. Driving is an individual matter, it always remains your responsibility to assess whether you are capable of this. If you have sufficient control over your operated hip, you can start driving again after six weeks.

How often should I exercise?

How do I know that I have exercised too much? Discuss this with your physiotherapist if you need any advanced orthopedic care. Do the exercises seriously, but don't overdo it! With too much exercise, the swelling and pain will increase.

Can I go through the gate at the airport?

Do I have to declare something to customs, and can I have problems with an MRI scan?

Titanium / stainless steel is incorporated in your prosthesis. This almost certainly gives a signal at a customs gate. In that case, calmly explain that you have a prosthesis. A letter from a certified orthopedic center or a pass stating that you have a prosthesis is of little use but customs still have to check you. In case of an MRI scan in the future, you must report that you have a prosthesis. In general, the investigation can take place.

The skin is numb. Is that fine?

Yes, that's possible and there’s nothing to worry about. The superficial cutaneous nerves are cut. It takes a while for this to be put back together. Sometimes for a year, sometimes this is permanent. Advice is not to put the scar directly in the sun for the first three to four months.

When can I exercise again?

There is a big difference in load and risk between sports. A prosthesis remains a mechanical replacement for your own joint and is not made for intensive or heavy sports. There are people who ski, play tennis and run. This entails major risks and shortens the lifespan of the prosthesis. Sport is possible from three to six months after the procedure, but this time is largely determined by your rehabilitation.

Author's Bio: 

Misty Jhones