Your Hospital Stay After Hip Replacement Surgery
You will be moved to your room when you are awake. By then your family or a friend will be able to join you. You can expect to feel some pain. To gain the best pain relief, answer honestly when you are asked how much you hurt. During your hospital stay, you’ll learn how to protect your new hip while doing daily activities.
In Your Hospital Room
You’ll be watched closely on the day of surgery. Any or all of the equipment below may be provided for your safety and comfort.
- A foam wedge or pillows may be placed between your legs. This is to help keep your new hip in place during early healing.
- A bar (trapeze) may be hanging over the bed. Use it to help lift your body when you change positions.
- Special stockings may be used to reduce the risk of blood clots. You may also be given medication to help prevent clots.
At first you may feel pain, even with medication. This is normal. But if your pain is not reduced at all, be sure to tell the nurse. Pain medication may be injected into a muscle or delivered by IV into the bloodstream.
You’re in Control with PCA
PCA (Patient-Controlled Analgesia) allows you to control your own pain medication. When you push a button, pain medication is pumped through an IV line. PCA pumps can provide a steady level of pain relief. And with their built-in safety features, you can be assured that you will not get too much medication.
Protect Your New Hip
Until it heals, your hip will have a limited range of motion. To protect your new joint, keep your knees level with or below your hips when you sit.
Avoid Risky Movements
At first some movements will put too much strain on your new hip joint. This could cause the ball to slip from its socket. A physical therapist will teach you which movements to avoid. A few of the most risky ones are listed below:
- Don’t let your knee cross the midline of your body
- Instead, sit with both feet on the floor, with your knees 6 inches apart
- Don’t plant your foot and rotate your new hip inward
- Instead, turn both your feet and your body
- Don’t bend all the way over from the waist
- Instead, use a device such as a long handle d grasper to reach down