Pre-op and Post-Op Hip Guidelines
Planning for your hip surgery prepares you for the operation and helps to ensure a smooth surgery and easier recovery. Here are certain pre-operative and post-operative guidelines which will help you prepare for hip surgery.
When your surgeon decides that surgery is the best option to overcome hip pain and restore movement, you will be briefed about the procedure and can start preparing yourself for the surgery.
- Prior to surgery, you should inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking so that your doctor can decide if any medications will interfere with the procedure and ask you to stop using it. You will be asked to stop using aspirin, inflammatory and herbal medications before surgery as they can lead to bleeding.
- You will be asked to quit smoking prior to surgery. Smoking significantly increases the potential for complications such as blood clots, infections, and wound healing problems. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend postponing your surgery until you are able to stop smoking.
- Your doctor will explain all the possible risks and complications involved with the surgery.
- You will be advised to consult your primary care physician to confirm that your existing medical problems are well controlled and you do not need any further testing or medical treatment prior to surgery.
- Based on your medical history, ongoing medications and physical examination, the different options for anesthesia will be explained to you.
- Your surgeon may also recommend a strengthening program, which includes exercises to improve your strength and flexibility prior to surgery to help you in your post-operative recovery.
Before you go for your surgery, it is advisable to plan for coming home from the hospital.
- Remove loose rugs and anything that can obstruct your walking path and cause falls or accidents. If necessary, you can widen the walking path to accommodate your walker or cane that you will be using during your recovery period.
- Place all items that you regularly use, such as remote controls and medications, in easy-to-reach places.
- Un-tuck your bedding so that it is easier to move in and out of bed. If your bedroom is situated in one of the higher floors, you may choose to relocate to the lower floor to avoid climbing stairs.
- It is helpful to have some assistance after your surgery for a few days.
- Prepare single serving meals so that they can be quickly heated and easily cleaned.
After your surgery, you will be shifted to the recovery room where your vitals will be monitored. X-rays will be taken to confirm placement of the artificial parts. Once you are in stable condition, you will be transferred to your room on the hospital floor. Every effort is made to have you walk with physical therapy on the day of surgery. Your physical therapist will help you move around better by teaching you certain post-operative hip exercises. You will be discharged around 1-2 days after surgery. Your doctor will give you a recovery plan that you should follow.
During the first few weeks at home, you should take care of your operated hip. Follow the instructions provided to you upon discharge from the hospital and also referenced on this website. It is always helpful to have some assistance while walking. Your doctor may recommend you continue the post-operative exercises until your complete recovery. Not all patients require formal physical therapy after hip replacement. Simply increase your activity level as your pain and strength allow. It is important to keep up your scheduled follow up appointments with your surgeon.
It is highly recommended that your contact your surgeon’s office with any questions or concerns regarding your recovery, pain, incision, swelling, or other problems following surgery. We strongly discourage you from seeking care in the emergency department or with your primary care doctor for issues specifically related to your surgical recovery unless you feel the condition is life threatening. Swelling is common after surgery and may involve the entire leg including the foot and ankle. Severe swelling, swelling that does not resolve with elevation, and tightness in the calf can be signs of a blood clot. Contact the surgeon’s office if this type of swelling develops. Some mild redness and heat around the incision are not uncommon after surgery as part of the healing process.
If you are concerned about infection, contact your surgeon’s office immediately. Do not start antibiotics unless prescribed by your surgeon.