In the hospital after hip replacement
You will stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days after having hip joint replacement surgery.
During that time you will recover from your anesthesia and the surgery itself:
- You will have a dressing (bandage) over your incision (cut). A small drainage tube may be placed during surgery to help drain blood that collects in your hip joint after surgery.
- You will have an IV (a catheter, or tube, that is inserted into a vein, usually in your arm). You will receive fluids through the IV until you are able to drink on your own.
- You may have a Foley catheter inserted into your bladder to drain urine. Usually it is removed 1 to 2 days after surgery. You may have some difficulty passing your urine after the tube is removed. Make sure you tell the nurses if you feel bloated.
- You will wear special compression stockings on your legs. These stockings improve blood flow and reduce your risk of getting blood clots.
- Most people will also receive blood-thinning medicine to reduce the risk of blood clots more.
- You may be taught how to use a device called a spirometer and do deep breathing and coughing exercises. Doing these exercises will help prevent pneumonia.
- Your doctor will prescribe pain medicines to control your pain. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
You will be encouraged to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.
- You will be helped out of bed to a chair on the same day or the first day after surgery. You will be asked to try walking with a walker or with a physical therapist.
- When you are in bed, move your ankles up and down. You will also be taught other leg exercises to do while you are in bed to prevent blood clots. It is important to do these exercises.
- You will be encouraged to do as much as you can for yourself by the second day. This includes going to the bathroom and taking walks in the hallways, always with someone helping you.
- You will learn the proper positions for your legs and hips. Make sure you follow these instructions as bad positions can cause the new hip joint to be injured.
Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own.