Discharge Instructions for Hip Replacements
posted by The Live Better Team | April 15, 2016
Thank you for entrusting your care to us. My philosophy is that successful surgery involves a complete team including a caring, competent surgeon, surgical assistants and a well educated, motivated patient. Below are some instructions and questions that relate directly to proper care and expectations after a hip replacement surgery.
Plan to return to my clinic in 10 to 14 days for follow-up evaluation and removal of sutures. Call (435) 628-9393 for an appointment. Be sure to specify that you are calling for a “surgical follow-up with Dr. Anderson”. If need be, ask for Julie and she will take care of you.
Keep a dry dressing over the wound, changing it if necessary. You will be instructed on this prior to discharge from the hospital. Do not apply any antibacterial creams, salves or ointments to the wound for five weeks following surgery.
Use either a walker or crutches for the first 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. Likely your pain will diminish and at some point you will feel that you do not need to have the added assistance, however, using the walker or crutches will ultimately give you a better long-term result—trust me on this one.
You may shower after five days. It is okay for the incision to get wet, but do not scrub or soak the incision. A shower chair is actually very helpful in the first couple of weeks following surgery. Do not soak the incision in a hot tub or bathtub for 4.
Pain medications are prescribed postoperatively and are recommended to help with the pain. Minimizing the use of narcotics when possible is strongly recommended. Narcotics are associated with nausea, dizziness, constipation and depression. Alternative means such as ice and nonnarcotic medication (Tramadol, Tylenol) may be a valuable substitute.
You should not drive for 6 weeks following your hip replacement especially if you are taking any narcotic medications.
Some form of Blood Clot Prevention (DVT Prophylaxis) is used following total hip replacement, usually 325 mg of aspirin twice per day unless other methods are indicated. Being up and walking at least 3 times per day is also very important in preventing blood clots. If you develop shortness of breath, chest pain or calf pain and swelling, go immediately to the emergency room.
If you are experiencing increased redness or drainage from the wound, increased pain despite taking the medication, or a body temperature above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, call our office or go to the emergency room immediately.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.