Partial Hip Replacement

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, but unavoidable complications sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, please call your caregiver.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Follow all of your caregiver's instructions to prevent complications. With time and patience, you can recover fully and return to your activities. Everyone recovers at a different pace. For the first few weeks after surgery, follow your caregiver's specific instructions and the steps below.

Pain and Swelling

  • It is normal to have a little discomfort during activity and at night for a few weeks. Check with your caregiver if the pain worsens or does not go away as expected.

  • Rest your hip in a comfortable position as directed. You may be asked to use a pillow for support while sleeping and resting. If you are resting, try to move at least once every 2 hours.

  • Take medicines as directed. You may be given medicine for pain, prevention of blood clots, or to increase bowel movements.

Wound Care

  • Keep your wound clean, dry, and protected.

  • You may bathe in a tub, shower, or swim when the wound area has fully healed. Try sponge bathing in the meantime.

  • Follow up with your caregiver as directed. You will need to have stitches (sutures) or staples removed.

Diet

  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Include iron-rich foods to promote healing and muscle strength.

  • Certain pain medicines may cause constipation. Drink enough water and fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow. Include additional fiber in your diet.

Moving Around

  • Rest often, but move around as much as tolerated. This will promote healing and prevent skin sores, blood clots, and stiffness.

  • Your caregiver may recommend walking support (walker, crutches, or cane) for the first few days or weeks.

  • Avoid crossing your legs, sitting in low chairs, bending over, and rotating your feet until your caregiver gives you permission.

  • Follow your caregiver's exercise program. You will gradually begin walking and will progress to basic activities such as sitting and using stairs. Your caregiver will let you know when you may progress to more strenuous activities and when you may bend over to put on socks and shoes.

  • Make sure your home is safe for moving around. Keep floors clear and essential items within reach to prevent a fall.

  • Wear an apron or tool belt with pockets for carrying objects. This will keep your hands free and help you with your balance.

  • Ask friends or family members for help during recovery.

  • Check with your caregiver about driving and returning to work.

Rehabilitation

  • Full recovery takes time.

  • Continue with physical therapy exercises as directed. You may be asked to see a physical therapist regularly and to perform exercises at home. These will help you improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the hip.

  • Continue with breathing exercises as directed. These will help prevent congestion in the lungs.

  • Follow up with your caregiver as directed for X-rays and exams.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • Always discuss your medicines with your caregiver before taking them.

  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking slows the healing process and increases the risk of infection. You may get help from your primary caregiver with approaches to help you stop smoking.

  • A metal prosthesis can set off security detectors. You will likely need special treatment at airport screening.

  • Tell your dentist that you have had a hip replacement. You may be asked to take a medicine that kills germs (antibiotic) before visits.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You feel unwell with chills.

  • You have severe or continued pain in the hip (particularly when at rest).

  • You notice redness, soreness, or fluid (drainage) coming from the wound area.

  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous), dizzy, or throw up (vomit).

  • You feel burning pain down the leg.

  • You have other new symptoms.

  • You have questions or concerns.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have pain or swelling of the calf or leg.

  • You develop difficulty breathing.

  • You have an irregular heartbeat or chest pain.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.