Author Topic: Hydrotherapy  (Read 3215 times)

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« on: September 11, 2010, 02:28:40 AM »
There is a lot of debate on this site about what surgeons and what devices are the best, and there is some discussion about physiotherapy too. There is nothing about hydrotherapy, which in my short experience, seems to be almost as important in recovery as the surgeon, the device and anything else.

Hydrotherapy is a standard part of Dr. De Smet's service, for THRs as well as resurfacings, so obviously he thinks it is important. The physiotherapist, Evelyne, who runs it, and I believe designed the course, is also quite proud of it. Quite simply it is doing straight forward exercises in a swimming pool, much of it based around walking properly, and quite obviously to strengthen and stretch the hip within strict limits.

Forty eight hours after my surgery, I was in the pool doing the exercises. Even so soon after the operation, walking and the exercises in the pool felt natural and without any fatigue. The first session was for half an hour. The next seven days , while I was at the villa, I was in for an hour.

Every day I felt stronger and more mobile. Everyone else at the villa did the hydrotherapy too, we all enjoyed it and got there early. The international patients are only at the villa for about a week after the operation, but the domestic patients appear to come back regularly, for up to a few weeks, specifically to do the hydrotherapy.

It took me eleven days after I left the villa to complete my convoluted journey back home and to find a pool. During that time I was generally strong, but did suffer some swelling, and did not really improve. Now I have got a pool I can use and have been doing the exercises, again, I feel as if I am improving quickly again. Sometimes I get up and walk, and forget that I am still supposed to use a crutch. Although I still need more range of movement and more strength, I like the feeling of my new hip. I can feel it rolling under me when I walk, which my other semi-arthritic hip certainly does not.

Even though I believe I had a great surgeon, it is difficult to gauge his ability, not being medically trained, and especially as I was oblivious and under general anesthetic when he did his work. So in my mind, as a patient, the hydrotherapy is making an enormous effect on my recovery, and I hope in the future performance of my hip. I would recommend all prospective hippies, not just to look into their surgeon and device, but to really consider hydrotherapy too.

I feel this is important.

Thank you.

Proud To Be Dr. De Smet's First Uncemented Conserve Plus, Left, August 2010

Pat Walter

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Re: Hydrotherapy
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 09:32:29 AM »

I am glad you are doing so well.  I think the water therapy is important - but you know what?  Dr. De Smets surgical technique is also very important.  When I was there in 2006, the Holiday Inn was remodeling and the pool was closed - no Villa at the time.  So none of the 8 of use had water therapy.  Never the less, we were all on one crutch and no one had any amount of swelling or pain.  We were sight seeing 4 and 5 days post op.  I was doing less since I was older.  We ate all our meals at the resturant and had a party every night.  ONly one lady had swelling and that was after she did a whole lot of walking.

I mention this because it is easy to overlook Dr. De Smet's wonderful surgical skills.  I think that is the most important factor in the easy and fast recoveries of his patients.  The water therapy is great, but all of us did well without it.  I did do some water walking at about 6 weeks for stiffness.  That start up kind of stuff that hurt for a few steps.  That helpled a lot and I never had probelms after that.

My suggestion is always go to the top surgeons.  Their skills are amazing and their hip resurfacings have good outcomes.

Good Luck and I hope you are off and running soon!  LOL

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Hydrotherapy
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 02:20:51 PM »
Yes I like stretching in a pool, unfortunately there's no way I can get in or out without breaking my 90* restriction, after 6 weeks I suspect it will be irrelevant to the BHR


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Re: Hydrotherapy
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 04:59:56 AM »
I've just begun hydrotherapy twice weekly at 9 weeks post-op (right hip resurfacing). It isn't standard procedure but I have considerable muscle atrophy in my right thigh, exacerbated by using a walking stick for 9 months prior to surgery.
Following my second session I had a dramatic surge of improvement and am walking without my stick for the first time in almost a year! The hydrotherapy is enabling me to focus on my gait and concentrate on keeping straight and balanced; hopefully this will eventually become my new habit  :D



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