Directly after hip surgery
When you are back in your hospital room, you will begin a gentle rehabilitation program to help strengthen the muscles around your new hip and regain your range of motion. Getting up and around soon is important. In fact, you’ll probably be asked to stand as quickly as 24 hours after surgery. If you had considerable pain before surgery, you most likely cut back on your activities, so your muscles may be weak. You’ll need to build up enough strength to control your new hip, and early activity encourages healing, too. Your doctor and physical therapist will give you specific instructions on wound care, pain control, diet, and exercise.
Your first meal after surgery will likely be ice chips and clear liquids and will progress to solid foods as tolerated. As soon as you can, you should begin eating well-balanced meals for healing purposes.
The rest of your hospital stay
Within the next 24 hours, you’ll probably begin to walk a few steps with the help of a walker. As you heal, you will progress from walker to crutches and then eventually a cane.
A catheter may be in place after surgery. It is normally removed when you can get out of bed to the bedside commode or restroom. Your bandage will probably be changed once or twice a day.
You can expect to stay in the hospital for about two to four days after your surgery. You’ll be discharged as soon as your surgeon determines that you have recovered sufficiently.
You may or may not be transferred to a rehabilitation facility for a few more days, as determined by your surgeon. Your bandages and sutures will usually be removed before you leave the hospital.
Before you are dismissed from the hospital, an occupational therapist will also show you how to perform daily tasks at home with your new hip. For example, you’ll be shown how to go to the bathroom, dress yourself, sit and stand, pick up objects, and do other everyday tasks.
At home, you’ll need to continue your exercises. Your physical therapist will instruct you about proper home care and may continue to work with you.
One week after surgery
You may want to wait a few days after you are home from the hospital/rehabilitation facility to give you an opportunity to rest and become comfortable in your home setting.
- Schedule post-op appointment
If your post-op appointment has not already been scheduled, call your surgeon’s office a day or two after you are home from the hospital to set up your post-op visit, which is typically two to three weeks after your surgery.
Three weeks after surgery
- Post-op appointment
The nurse or physician’s assistant will take your blood pressure and temperature. Your surgeon will examine the surgery area checking for any signs of infection. Your stitches/staples will likely be removed as well. Your range of motion will also be examined, and you will review your physical therapy instructions. You will want to wear comfortable, loose clothing. You will likely return for follow-up appointments at three months, six months, and one-year post-op. You will probably return once a year thereafter.