Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery

Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery

Recovery in the Hospital

After your surgery, you will be moved into the recovery room until you come to. Depending on the type of anesthetic you’ve had, this could take several hours. During this period, you will be closely monitored. Once you’re with it again, you will be moved to your hospital room. Here, you will spend a minimum of 1-2 days before being discharged home or to a secondary care facility.

During your hospital stay, you will be visited by doctor and nurses who will check your wound and labs and review your progress. You may also be visited by a social worker who will help determine if you can be discharged straight home or if a secondary care center is better for you. Another key member of your care team is a physical therapist. It is not unusual for patients to begin physical therapy on the same day as surgery or in the following morning. Early movement in the hip joint is pivotal to regaining range of motion, avoiding stiffness, reducing swelling and inflammation and ultimately, setting yourself up for future success.

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After the procedure

After surgery, you'll be moved to a recovery area for a few hours while your anesthesia wears off. Medical staff will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, alertness, pain or comfort level, and your need for medications.

Blood clot prevention

After your surgery, you'll be at increased risk of blood clots in your legs. Possible measures to prevent this complication include:

  • Early mobilization.You'll be encouraged to sit up and even try walking with crutches or a walker soon after surgery. This will likely happen the same day as your surgery or on the following day.
  • Pressure application.Both during and after surgery, you may wear elastic compression stockings or inflatable air sleeves similar to a blood pressure cuff on your lower legs. The pressure exerted by the inflated sleeves helps keep blood from pooling in the leg veins, reducing the chance that clots will form.
  • Blood-thinning medication.Your surgeon may prescribe an injected or oral blood thinner after surgery. Depending on how soon you walk, how active you are and your overall risk of blood clots, you may need blood thinners for several more weeks after surgery.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist may help you with some exercises that you can do in the hospital and at home to speed recovery.

Activity and exercise must be a regular part of your day to regain the use of your joint and muscles. Your physical therapist will recommend strengthening and mobility exercises and will help you learn how to use a walking aid, such as a walker, a cane or crutches. As therapy progresses, you'll usually increase the weight you put on your leg until you're able to walk without assistance.

Home recovery and follow-up care

Before you leave the hospital, you and your caregivers will get tips on caring for your new hip. For a smooth transition:

  • Arrange to have a friend or relative prepare some meals for you
  • Place everyday items at waist level, so you can avoid having to bend down or reach up
  • Consider making some modifications to your home, such as getting a raised toilet seat if you have an usually low toilet

Six to 12 weeks after surgery, you'll have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to make sure your hip is healing properly. If recovery is progressing well, most people resume their normal activities by this time — even if in a limited fashion. Further recovery with improving strength will often occur for six to 12 months.

What you can expect

When you check in for your surgery, you'll be asked to remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You'll be given either a general anesthetic or a spinal block, which numbs the lower half of your body.

10 common questions about Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery

1What can I expect after hip replacement surgery?
1 to 2 Days After Hip Replacement Surgery They will help you learn how to move safely with minimal pain. You probably won't be able to do certain movements for a few weeks. The day after surgery, you can usually begin eating a normal diet.
2How long do I have to sleep on my back after hip replacement?
How Long Until You Can Sleep Normally? It's best to avoid sleeping on your affected side for at least six weeks. After your doctor gives you the go-ahead, listen to your body, and only lie on your operative side when you feel comfortable.
3How long after hip replacement can I walk unaided?
It takes most patients between 6 weeks and 3 months to stop taking pain medication and regain the ability to walk and do most daily activities. During that time a patient may be using walking aids such as a walker, crutches or cane. Patients should not drive or do other physical activities without doctor approval.
4Is hip replacement painful?
Typically, knee replacement surgery hurts more than hip replacement surgery (sorry, knee people). After surgery, pain is no longer achy and arthritic but stems from wound healing, swelling and inflammation. Hip replacement patients often report little to no pain around the 2-6 week mark.
5How long does pain last after a hip replacement?
Many individuals will have excellent pain control as soon as 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. It is common for patients to be tired following a total hip replacement, which is due in part to anesthesia, blood loss, pain, and the necessity of prescription pain medications.
6Can you climb stairs after a hip replacement?
It's important to have support when you climb and descend stairs, especially immediately after surgery. ... That means you should lead with your stronger leg that still has your original hip to walk up the stairway and your weaker leg to walk down it.
7Will I ever be able to cross my legs after hip replacement?
Crossing Your Legs You should not cross your legs after hip replacement surgery. ... To avoid placing stress on the hip, you should not sleep on your side until your surgeon tells you that it's okay. Even then, some surgeons will recommend that you sleep with a pillow between your legs to keep your hips level.
8Is Hip Replacement major surgery?
In a hip replacement procedure, your surgeon removes the damaged joint surface and replaces it with an artificial implant. A total hip replacement is a major surgery, and deciding to have the surgery done is a big decision. ... As well, older age is a concern and may be an exclusion factor for a hip replacement.
9Is it normal to sleep a lot after hip replacement?
The most common cause of sleep disruption is pain. It has been reported that more than half of patients wake up with pain after joint replacement. Many factors can affect the quality of sleep after a major surgery including anesthesia-type, narcotic use and discomfort due to pain or restricted leg movements.
10Can you sit in a recliner after hip replacement surgery?
Do keep your knees below your hips when you sit. You may need a small pillow to sit on. Do use long-handled grippers to get things on the floor or out of your reach. Don't sit on low stools or chairs.


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