Day of Surgery
Are you ready for your new hip joint replacement? Arrive at the hospital prepared to stay for 2-3 days. The surgery should last several hours. After the operation, you will spend some time in a recovery area as you awaken from anesthesia. After you are awake, you will be taken to your hospital bed.
You will probably feel some discomfort, but medicine can help. At first, you may be taking shallow, short breaths due to the anesthesia, treatment, and your bed. It’s vital to breathe deeply and cough to help clear your lungs. A drainage tube may be used to drain blood from your hip. You may be prescribed blood thinners by your doctor to prevent clots.
The Day After Surgery
Now is the time to move that hip joint. A physical therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding it. You’ll stand up, sit on the edge, and start walking. You may start physical therapy on the same day as your surgery if it was performed early in the morning and went smoothly.
Two Days After
You will do more exercise and use crutches or walkers. You should switch from an IV to pills as you feel better. After the first day, you should be able to eat regular foods rather than a liquid diet.
Two Days After
Now it should be easier for you to move around. It’s time to head home if you are doing well. You’ll need help with shopping, rides, and other errands. You will not be able to drive for 3 to 6 weeks. You can check into a rehabilitation center for a few days or arrange for a home health aide to visit you.
Four Days After
Avoid getting the incision wet. Avoid getting it wet, and avoid creams, lotions, and ointments. Use an ice pack on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. Continue to move the joint and perform the exercises you learned in the hospital. A home health nurse or physical therapist may visit you.
It’s time to remove stitches that aren’t dissolving. You may be advised to wait 1-2 more days before showering or getting the wound wet. Your pain should be much reduced, and you may not need more pain medication.
Three to Six Weeks
Most of your light daily activities should be possible. You may feel sore or uncomfortable after the surgery, especially at the end of the workday. You should be able to drive six weeks after the surgery.
You should be feeling like yourself again. The majority of your pain should be gone. The swelling should be reduced. You will find it easier to move around and can do daily activities like gardening, dancing, or long walks. Your doctor will see you and your hip for follow-up appointments in the first year following surgery.