You will experience moderate to severe pain after surgery. However, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), intravenous (IV), or epidural analgesics are effective in controlling post-operative pain. The pain should gradually decrease, and by the third day after surgery, oral analgesic medications may be sufficient to control your pain. Try to schedule your pain medications about one half hour before ambulation or position changes.
Results with a hip prosthesis have been excellent. The operation relieves pain and stiffness symptoms, and most patients (over 80%) need no help walking. With time, loosening of the artificial joint has been observed due to the limited properties of the cement used to attach the artificial parts to the bones.
You will remain in the hospital for 5 to 8 days after surgery. However, some people may need further rehabilitation and assistance after hip replacement surgery. Temporary placement in a rehabilitation unit or long-tern care center may be necessary until mobility has improved and the person can safely live independently. These centers will provide intensive physical therapy to assist in regaining muscle strength and flexibility in the joint.
Positioning is very important after surgery to reduce stress on the new joint and displacement of the joint. The new hip will not have the same range of movement of the original joint, although you should eventually be able to return to your previous level of activity. However, you should avoid vigorous sports such tennis, skiing, or contact sports.
The use of crutches or a walker is necessary for 3 months or more until healing is complete.
The new joint has a limited range of movement. You will need to take special precautions to avoid displacement of the joint, including:
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885