A hip replacement procedure gives patients a new lease on life. Naturally, patients are often eager to jump right into many of the activities they once found too painful to enjoy, including travel. Travel after this type of operation is something you can look forward to, but there are some necessary precautions to keep in mind.
Your first trip after hip replacement surgery should probably not include international travel. Traveling long distances while you are still in the early post-recovery phase is risky. Long-distance travel generally means that you are required to stay in the same position for an extended period, which can cause stiffness and discomfort to settle in. Planning a trip a little closer to home is better. If you must travel a long distance, break up the flights to allow some time for layovers.
Enjoy your vacation, but make sure you eat as healthy as possible while you are away. Unhealthy eating often leads to inflammation and dehydration. Inflammation can set up around the area of the joint replacement, which can be incredibly painful. If you are in pain, your vacation could be ruined. Consuming too much soda or alcoholic beverages can cause you to become dehydrated. Dehydration slows down the healing process. Make sure you keep a good balance of fruits, vegetables, and water in your diet while you are away.
Do not be too prideful and fail to ask for assistance if you need it. For example, if you are walking through the airport and you feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to ask a staff member for assistance with transport to and from the gate. Often time, pain is an indication that you are overdoing it, and if you continue, you will only make matters worse. As a precautionary measure, you can even arrange for assistance at the airport before you arrive.
Ensure you have the right gear in your bag before you travel. Gear like compression tights is a must. Whether you travel by car or by airplane, sitting in the same position after hip replacement surgery for a long period increases the risk of you forming a dangerous blood clot. Compression garments apply pressure to your hips and legs, which helps to maintain healthy blood flow, which reduces the risk of a traveling blood clot, while also minimizing swelling and discomfort.
Always talk to your orthopedic surgeon about any travel precautions you might need to take, or look to other professional advice given through their website, like that of Arizona Institute of Motion.