Reduce Risk For Hip Surgery Wound Infections With Physical Therapy

If you undergo hip replacement surgery, then your surgeon will recommend post-surgery physical therapy. Your physical therapy regimen will begin soon after your surgery in the hospital, and once you are ready to be discharged, your doctor may transfer you to an acute care facility to complete your months-long therapy program. Not only does physical therapy help you regain your strength and balance after your hip surgery, but it can also help lower your risk for a wound infection of your surgical site in the following ways.

Promotes Circulation

Physical therapy exercises promote circulation to the surgical wound of the hip. This not only helps speed the healing process, but it also helps lower your risk for post-surgical infections. It is important to note that your physician may recommend that you take your prescription pain relief medication before your therapy session begins.

When you take your pain medication before you start your exercises, you will be more comfortable and have more flexibility so that circulation and blood flow to your incision site can be optimized. During your therapy sessions, the physical therapist will monitor your hip incision for drainage, excessive bleeding, and increased redness, and if noticed, will recommend making an appointment with your surgeon.

Whirlpool Benefits

Not only do physical therapists teach patients various exercises to help promote mobility and strength, but they also can treat patients who have wounds caused by diabetes, pressure, and surgery. Whirlpool treatments effectively cleanse surgical wounds and remove debris from the incision. In addition, a whirlpool treatment can loosen bandages and surgical dressings so that the patient does not pull them off, which can injure the incision and further raise the risk for postoperative wound infections.

A therapeutic whirlpool bath also helps increase circulation and blood flow to the surgical area, and if the physical therapist adds an antimicrobial preparation to the water, the risk for infection further declines. While a single whirlpool treatment can help promote the healing of a hip surgery wound, it often takes multiple whirlpool sessions to significantly lower the infection risk. 

To learn more about the benefits of post-surgery physical therapy and how it can lower your risk for an incision infection, talk to your physician. It is important to note, that while physical therapy can greatly reduce your risk for an incision infection, other factors also play important roles. These include your general state of health, your age, level of physical fitness, and even your nutritional status.

Contact a post-surgery physical therapy clinic for more information.