Discharge Instructions: Posterior Approach
Total Hip Replacement Surgery
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Most of these instructions apply to the first 6-8 weeks after surgery. These are general rules and you should always check with your surgeon if you have any questions.
Typically, you may bear weight as tolerated, first with walker or crutches, then a cane as permitted by your doctor, in consultation with the physical therapist.
Walking is good for you, and is generally the best therapy. You may gradually increase the amount you walk each day, and it is generally better to take several shorter walks than one long walk until your endurance improves.
Be cautious on uneven or slippery surfaces, especially in the bathroom.
Ten sets of the following exercise should be done each day while holding on to a table or using a crutch or cane on the operated side. At least 10 repetitions of each exercise should be done during each set.
Keep knees straight. Lift leg out to the side. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to standing. Repeat 10 times.
Your exercise program is not temporary, but continuous. It is an important part of the ongoing management of your total hip replacement.
For the first 6 weeks, it is best to sleep on your back with a pillow between your knees.
Generally, after 6 weeks from surgery you may sleep in any position you wish, with or without a pillow between the knees.
You should use an elevated toilet seat/commode for the first 6 weeks after surgery
You should not drive a car for at least 6 weeks after surgery, regardless of which hip is replaced
You should be careful bending over for the first 6 weeks after surgery, and should not lift your knee higher than your hip. You should not cross your legs, or twist your knee inwards. If you need to bend over, keep your feet together and knees apart.
You should not sit on any low couches, chairs, benches, etc. especially if they are very soft.
Blood Clot Prevention
Do not sit for long periods of time, no more than 30 minutes at a time, 3-4 times per day. When not walking, you should be lying down with legs elevated to prevent swelling and doing exercises to prevent blood clots.
You have been prescribed a medication to help prevent blood clots. It is important that you continue to take this medication as prescribed.
Call your orthopaedic surgeon to make an appointment for a 2 month check-up. During this appointment, please remind the office staff to take x-rays.
Call your physician if there are any unusual symptoms such as severe pain, fever, chills, wound drainage, etc.
Staples/sutures should be removed 2 weeks after surgery by the visiting nurse or rehab facility staff