Hip replacement surgery is a common intervention for treating pain and disability in the hip caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of damage to the cartilage and bones within the hip joint. Occupational therapists work with clients following hip replacement surgery to facilitate a safe and timely discharge from the hospital and to enable them to resume occupations and roles. Occupational therapy aims to promote performance in activities of daily living, such as self-care, productivity and leisure, while ensuring a healthy and safe recovery from hip surgery. The occupational therapist's responsibility is to collaborate with the patient or client to understand how the surgery will impact his/her/their daily life once discharged.
Occupational therapists work with clients to discuss their goals and outcomes. Assessments are commonly used to examine a client's ability to perform activities in the kitchen, bath or shower transfers, and dressing techniques. Assessments help inform therapists about the activities of daily living that a client may need assistance with during recovery.
Education is critical to address a client's concerns and provide them with an opportunity to discuss how the surgery will impact their daily lives. Occupational therapists frequently educate and recommend assistive devices such as walkers, which help balance during walking. For many individuals, hip replacement surgery causes stress and anxiety. Occupational therapists support clients and educate them with strategies to help manage and cope with any psychosocial challenges they may be experiencing.
Examples of how occupational therapists work with clients include:
-assess a clients wants and needs to maximize functional independence
-set realistic goals for clients to work towards
-communicate and educate clients about their care
-incorporate anxiety-reducing strategies into their practice
-recommend assistive devices that enable clients to carry out their day to day activities
-provide support for pain management strategies
-discuss plans for specific needs for community reintegration
Mooney, Madeleine, and Claire Ireson. Occupational Therapy in Orthopaedics and Trauma. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.