If you are going directly home from the hospital, you will receive instructions on how to climb stairs, and get in and out of a car safely.
It is best for someone to be with you the first 24 to 72 hours after discharge. If you live alone and a friend or relative offers to stay with you, take him or her up on the offer! If you cannot arrange a full-time helper, perhaps a friend or neighbor can call daily to check on your progress.
Home care can also be arranged through your case manager if you meet home health care criteria and your doctor orders it. A nurse, physical therapist or occupational therapist can visit your home in the weeks following your surgery. Exactly how many visits are covered by your insurance is a question your care manager can answer for you after you have had your surgery.
Catholic Health offers short-term home care through McAuley Seton Home Care.
Caring For Your Incision
You will receive instructions on how to care for your incision before you go home. Some surgeons use specialty dressings that are waterproof while other surgeons prefer the standard gauze dressing that cannot get wet. Your surgeon will let you know when you can take a shower. You will not be able to sit in a tub for approximately 12 weeks.
Precautions for Hip Replacement Patients
Following total hip replacement surgery, certain positions cause undue stress on your hip and could cause the prosthesis to dislocate. Your surgeon will determine which precautions you should follow to make your recovery safe and comfortable. Please follow your precautions until cleared by your physician.
- cross your legs at the knee or at the ankles
- use a pillow between legs when lying in bed
- use pillow between legs when turning on the side
- lean forward when getting up
- allow the knees to go higher than the hips when seated
- Anterior hip replacements are also not allowed excessive separation of legs.
- Keep things in arms reach to avoid the urge to lean forward
- Keep your chair at the correct height, with a level seat
- Use a raised toilet seat
Click here to download our precautions for hip replacement patients.
Continuing Physical Therapy
Your physical therapist can assist you in determining how many times per day you need to exercise your joint. However, many patients find that continuing to do their exercises increases their strength and endurance. Most patients need to follow hip precautions for eight weeks.
Your orthopedic surgeon will let you know how long you should follow hip precautions.
Your need for pain medication will decrease as you recover from joint replacement surgery. Most patients will gradually decrease their pain medication as they return to their everyday activities.