Lifetime Precautions After Hip Replacement - RespectCareGivers (2023)

Post hip-replacement surgery involves frequent follow-up with your doctor, pain, nutrition, and movement. Significant concerns that are to be addressed are comorbidities, functioning, pain, adaptability to the new hip.

With time, patients recover from the surgery. Fast recovery is mainly seen in active and young patients. But the older adults take time to recover and adapt to the surgery.

Lifetime Precautions After Hip Replacement - RespectCareGivers (1)

Astudyconducted by the Oxford hip replacement says that good functional outcomes are observed in the patients who have undergone surgery 5-16 years ago. These results are based on comparing the patients who have not got the surgery after 80 years old.

The patients must take precautions after the surgery: they should not bend the knees or hips more than 90 degrees, shouldn’t cross the legs, and lift them while putting the socks on. Doing any of these will dislocate the hip after the surgery, and it is important to protect the hip. With time, the restrictions can be avoided when the pain starts reducing and when it is permitted to bear the weights.

How To Deal With The Pain After Hip Replacement

Patients will experience pain once they return home after the surgery. The physician will remove the bandage at the site after some days. Handling the pain is hard as healing takes time, and there are many restrictions on movements after the surgery.

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Medications, therapy, and home relief are prescribed for the patients by the physicians in the first weeks. The therapist who works on the pain site will slowly determine and tell how long the movement restrictions have to be followed.

Every patient may not recover soon, and some may complain of pain at the site for more weeks. In such cases, medicines like paracetamol and NSAIDs should be used longer based on the instructions of the physician. But, this will extend the time for the overall recovery of the patient.

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Any kind of exercise or therapy the patient uses will have a stipulated period to work best and give results. Electrical stimulation mechanisms are also used to address the surgery site for relief.

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How to manage the Wound, Infections, and Blood Flow After Surgery?

If you want to avoid infections at the wound site, then you should keep it clean and dry. Infections are rarely seen in the patients, their wound heals quickly, and there is an increase in the movements also.

You may see a bruise at the wound site, which will disappear on its own. You may see redness at the incision site on the skin, which is nothing to worry about. It will take 14 days to remove the stitches. Regular checkup of the wound is essential if the infection is to be avoided.

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Talking about infections, you may see a change in size and shape of the wound, discharge at the wound site, foul smell from the wound, and it may appear to be macerated. If you experience any of these conditions, consulting the doctor immediately is essential. If these are not addressed, the recovery period will increase, stalling the healing of the wound.

Other indicators of an infection are:

  • Increasing pain with both activity and rest.
  • Drainage from the wound
  • Increasing tenderness, redness, or swelling of the wound
  • Shaking or chills
  • Persistent fever (higher than 101.5 degrees)
  • Swelling in the leg.

Clotting of the blood may be seen at the surgery site. To avoid this, anticoagulants may be prescribed to the patients. Having a good blood flow at the surgery site is essential.

If you have blood vessel diseases or heart issues, then you should regularly check if you have an inability of leg movement, pulsating cramp, or redness on the leg.This indicates that there is insufficiency in the peripheral vascular or thrombosis in the vein. You must immediately shift to the hospital in this situation.

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What Should You Eat After The surgery?

Diet and nutrition have a significant role in determining the patient’s recovery rate, strength, and weight management. If the person is obese, it may impact the new hip burdening it.

You can make changes to your diet and reduce some weight before the operation to avoid any issues post the surgery. Similarly, if undernourished, diet changes should be made to get the patient stronger.

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Eating nutrient-rich food will fasten the recovery process. Some of the foods which will help you in maintaining a good diet post-surgery are:

  • Fiber:Eating fiber-rich food will help in promoting regular bowel movements in the body.
  • Calcium:Eating Calcium-rich food will help in building and maintaining the bones, muscles movement, preventing blood clots, and easy message delivery through the nerves.
  • Vitamin C:Vitamin C will help repair the damaged tissues in the body, keeps teeth and bones stronger, and help in absorbing iron.
  • Iron:Iron will work on each body cells to make energy.
  • Protein:Protein will help in repairing and building healthy tissue.

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How to address Displacement and Loosening Concerns

Displacement and loosening are significant concerns in patients even after they regain motion and strength after the surgery.

A study in 2013 detected loosening of the radiographic component has increased before four years of the revision surgery. After two years, there was a major increase in pain in the hips from 15%-80% in the revision year.

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There was a deterioration in the walking capacity three years before the revision surgery, and during the revision year, 65% of patients will not be able to walk longer than thirty minutes.

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These vary from patient to patient. If you want to prevent displacement or loosening, then you should always follow the functional limitations.

There are chances of displacement because of improper positioning of the hips, repeated falls, or faulty body mechanics. Remember to check your capacity to bear weight and be in contact with the doctor.

Some signs which indicate displacement or loosening of the hips are:

  • The sensation at the knee giving out when you place weight on it or swelling in and around your replacement knee joint.
  • Full hip dislocation
  • Partial hip dislocation
  • The sensation that your joint is moving in and out of its socket
  • Popping or clicking sound
  • Pain on the hip area and unable to give weight

What are the Functional Limitations After Hip Replacement?

We have already discussed limitations and precautions of movement, which are to be followed by the patient after the surgery for better healing with no significant concerns.

The limitations and precautions will come down with time as the mobility and strength will increase because of diet, medicines, and therapy.

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If you want to avoid loosening after the replacement, then you should avoid the stress on the surgery site. As the hip joint bears the body weight, it is important to maintain your weight. More weight will increase the stress on the hip, loosening the joint.

If the replacement is an uncemented one, there are chances of brittleness at the surgery as the site is sensitive and hard for re-surgery. If the prosthesis used is cemented one, it is common, and still, the movement has limitations but has the best results.

It is tough to use the toilet by sitting after the surgery during the recovery period. It is better to get raised toilet seats and hip chairs to avoid major discomforts and pain after the surgery.

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Activities like diving, jumping, and weight lifting are prohibited after the surgery, as displacement and loosening may occur if performed using poor body mechanics.

You can do activities like skiing, double tennis, golf, horseback riding, dancing, and bowling only after 2-3months after the surgery after consulting the doctor once.

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Which Assistive Devices Will Improve Walking?

After the surgery, assistive devices are given to the patients to reduce the bain and handle restrictions on weight-bearing. Weight-bearing is dependent on the patients’ recovery and is a gradual process. Over time, when mobility and strength increase and it is permitted for full weight-bearing, these can be avoided.

Balance is a significant concern in the elderly. Older adults make use of the walker when they want assistance. Some may replace the walker with a cane. Whereas active and young patients make use of crutches rather than walkers or canes.

Slowly, they will reduce the usage of crutches also. When the doctor prescribes assisted device, you can also look for the best quality devices ofwalkersandcaneshere.

Post-Hip Replacement Care is A Long Process. Follow The Rules And You Will Ensure Success.

Based on the surgeons’ opinions, hip replacement may last for 15-20 years, depending on your daily activities, weight, age, and living style.

Regular follow-up with the doctors for checkups and updating the status will help them make decisions to speed up the recovery. Procedures like MRI and X-Ray are essential to check if there is displacement or loosening.

If you face issues like calf pain, open surgical wound, redness on the surgery site, draining at the incision, or temperature over 101.5, you should immediately meet your doctor.

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Staying in touch with the physicians will help you address if you are facing any other concerns in your hip replacement surgery. The comment section below will help us know your views and suggestions. Do comment today!


How long do you need a caretaker after hip replacement? ›

Since no two people or recoveries are the same, it's difficult to predict exactly how long you may need assistance—you might be good to go in just a few days or need extra help for several weeks. Most people can expect to need assistance for about a week.

What special precautions need to be in place when caring for a postoperative hip replacement? ›

Hip Replacement (Posterior) Precautions: Don't bend your hip too far
  • Don't lean forward while you sit down or stand up, and don't bend past 90 degrees (like the angle in a letter "L"). ...
  • Don't lift your knee higher than your hip.
  • Don't sit on low chairs, beds, or toilets.

Are there any lifelong restrictions after hip replacement? ›

That's right, no restrictions. After an anterior hip replacement you can do anything you want to.

How do you take care of a loved one after a hip replacement? ›

Install a raised toilet seat. Secure handrails in stairways. Provide stable armchairs with firm cushions that allow knees to remain lower than hips. Position furniture to allow for open walkways, and remove any electrical cords or throw rugs that might be in the way.

Will I be able to take care of myself after hip replacement surgery? ›

People are typically able to take care of themselves and resume most activities 6 weeks after surgery, and are 90% recovered after 3 months. It can take up to a full year before they are 100% recovered. Healing and rehabilitation times vary among patients.

Do you have to have someone stay with you after hip surgery? ›

Orthopedics. Most patients, even if they live alone, can safely go directly home from the hospital after hip or knee replacement surgery, according to a recent study.

What are the 3 hip precautions? ›

Hip precautions encourage patients to avoid bending at the hip past 90°, twisting their leg in or out, and crossing their legs. Patients are also encouraged to sit with their hips higher than their knees, sit in a chair with armrests, and sleep on their back with a pillow between their legs.

When can you use a regular toilet after hip replacement? ›

Getting on and off a toilet

You will need to use the toilet equipment provided for at least the first two months following your operation. 1. Position yourself so that you can feel the front of the toilet / toilet frame behind your knees.

What are the 3 anterior hip precautions? ›

Hip precautions are very restrictive and usually include the following: Avoid the combined movement of bending your hip and turning in your foot. You should sleep with a pillow between your legs for 6 weeks. Avoid crossing your legs and bending your hip past a right angle.

How long does it take a 70 year old to recover from hip surgery? ›

Long Recovery Time

In general, the older individuals are and the greater number of conditions they have, the longer it can take to recover. The recovery time for a hip replacement ranges from four weeks to up to six months.

What is the most common cause of death after total hip replacement? ›

Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the 90 days following total joint replacement, and there is an increase in postoperative deaths associated with digestive system-related disease following joint replacement.

How long does it take a 75 year old to recover from a hip replacement? ›

“On average, hip replacement recovery can take around two to four weeks, but everyone is different,” says Thakkar. It depends on a few factors, including how active you were before your surgery, your age, nutrition, preexisting conditions, and other health and lifestyle factors.

What Cannot do after total hip replacement? ›

The Don'ts
  • Don't cross your legs at the knees for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Don't bring your knee up higher than your hip.
  • Don't lean forward while sitting or as you sit down.
  • Don't try to pick up something on the floor while you are sitting.
  • Don't turn your feet excessively inward or outward when you bend down.

How long after hip replacement is there a risk of dislocation? ›

Hip replacement ranks among the more successful operations on the musculoskeletal system, but it can have serious complications. A common one is dislocation of the total hip endoprosthesis, an event that arises in about 2% of patients within 1 year of the operation.

What to do if you have no one to take care of you after surgery? ›

What to do if there is no one to help after surgery?
  1. Lean on Friends and Family. From driving you home from the hospital to preparing meals to doing laundry, friends and family can provide both care and comfort in your time of need. ...
  2. Consider In-Patient Recovery. ...
  3. Enlist Professional Help at Home.

Will I be able to put my socks on after hip replacement? ›

After completing outpatient PT, you can do some yoga to continue with stretching, if desired. I would like you to be comfortable putting on your shoes and socks by 3 months postoperative. Remember that stretching is a dynamic process and will continue to improve. Otherwise, you are free to enjoy your new hip!

Can I go to the bathroom by myself after hip surgery? ›

You should also be able to dress yourself with only a little help and be able to get into and out of your bed or a chair by yourself. You should also be able to use the toilet without much help. You will need to be careful that you do not dislocate your artificial hip, especially in the first few months after surgery.

Why do you need someone with you for 24 hours after surgery? ›

It's best to have someone with you for at least the first 24 hours after general anesthesia. You may continue to be sleepy, and your judgment and reflexes may take time to return to normal. If you are taking opioids for pain, you won't be able to drive until you stop taking them.

How long after hip replacement do you have to worry about infection? ›

Infections can occur soon after surgery, but can also occur days, months, weeks, years, and even decades after a joint replacement surgery. Invasive procedures (procedures throught the skin) around the time of a joint replacement also increase the risk of infection.

Are hip precautions forever? ›

You need to remain under total hip precautions for about 12 weeks. During this period, don't turn your toes in or out. Avoid crossing your legs as well. Make sure you keep all your follow-up appointments and ask your surgeon to tell you when you're free to bend beyond 90 degrees or bend down to pick things up.

What is the 90 degree rule after hip replacement? ›

In the first few weeks and months after your surgery, you need to avoid bending more than 90 degrees, crossing your legs and twisting or pivoting at the hip. This means that activities such as driving or exercising are best avoided at first.

What is the best chair to sit in after hip replacement? ›

Sit up straight in a firm chair. Sit in chairs higher than knee height. Sit in a firm, straight-back chair with arm rests. Do not sit on soft chairs, rocking chairs, sofas, or stools.

When can I sit in a car after hip replacement? ›

Normally, driving should be avoided for the first 6 weeks and even travelling as a passenger is best avoided for the first three weeks (except for essential journeys), as getting in and out of a car can risk straining the hip and stretching the healing tissues. However, you should discuss this with your surgeon.

What time of year is best for hip replacement surgery? ›

Consider spring and fall. Doctors recommend spring and fall as the ideal times for surgery. Moving around and exercising are essential parts of recovery. The weather around this time is perfect for maximizing visits to a physical therapist.

Can you bend with anterior hip precautions? ›

Avoid the combined movement of bending your hip and turning in your foot. You should sleep with a pillow between your legs for 6 weeks. Avoid crossing your legs and bending your hip past a right angle. Avoid low chairs.

Which is safer anterior or posterior hip replacement? ›

For many years, experts believed the anterior approach had lower rates of hip dislocation and potential nerve damage. Research now suggests the potential is there for both approaches. Most complications associated with anterior approach hip replacement are similar to standard hip replacement complications.

Can hip replacement cause bowel problems? ›

Constipation is common after surgery, especially while you are taking pain medicine and your daily activity level is decreased. Signs of constipation include: fewer number of bowel movements. small, hard stools that are difficult to pass.

How long does it take to walk normally after hip surgery elderly? ›

Most hip replacement patients are able to walk within the same day or next day of surgery; most can resume normal routine activities within the first 3 to 6 weeks of their total hip replacement recovery.

What hurts the most after hip replacement surgery? ›

You can expect to experience some discomfort in the hip region itself, as well as groin pain and thigh pain. This is normal as your body adjusts to changes made to joints in that area. There can also be pain in the thigh and knee that is typically associated with a change in the length of your leg.

What is the best exercise after total hip replacement? ›

Walking is the best exercise for a healthy recovery, because walking will help you recover hip movement. Initially, the use of a walker or crutches will help to prevent blood clots and strengthen your muscles which will improve hip movement.

How many people get blood clots after hip replacement? ›

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a common complication after hip arthroplasty, with an incidence rate of 40–60 %[7]. The formation of DVT of the lower extremities can increase the suffering of patients, prolong hospitalization time, and increase medical expenses[8].

What is the 6 month mortality after a hip fracture? ›

Between 7.9% and 26.9% die within three to six months, and 25% have levels of disability that require constant care (4-6). A number of studies have looked at possible determinants or predictors of hip fracture mortality (7-10).

What are the negative effects of major hip surgery? ›

Joint loosening, blood clots, change in leg length, dislocation, fractures and infection are common hip replacement complications. People who have received metal-on-metal hips may also experience metallosis, a form of metal poisoning that causes tissue damage and other serious conditions.

How do you get on the floor after hip replacement? ›

Getting up & down to the floor: Put your operated leg behind you. Follow the pictures below. After 6 weeks it is okay to take a bath as long as your incision is fully healed and you can get up/down from the floor (as shown above). Placing a non-slip mat on the bottom of the tub will reduce the risk of slipping.

How long does it take to get your strength back after hip replacement? ›

It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks to start feeling stronger and to be able to get around with less pain. You'll still need to continue with physical therapy by going to regular appointments. Walking at this point is especially important for your recovery. You'll want to walk regularly and avoid sitting for too long.

How long does fatigue last after hip replacement surgery? ›

It can take days or weeks for things to return to normal and your body to overcome the stress of surgery. Any surgical procedure results in some blood loss.

What are standard hip precautions? ›

Hip Precautions
  • Never cross legs or ankle on sitting, standing or lying down.
  • Avoid bending your leg greater than 90 degrees.
  • When sitting or standing from a chair, bed or toilet you must extend your operated leg in front of you.

What is a key nursing intervention for the postoperative total hip arthroplasty patient? ›

Nursing Interventions

Use strict aseptic or clean techniques as indicated to reinforce or change dressings and when handling drains. Instruct patient not to touch or scratch incision. Rationale: Prevents contamination and risk of wound infection, which could require removal of prosthesis.

What nursing assessments are necessary for the postoperative hip replacement patient? ›

Assessing the patency of a patient's airway, vital signs, and level of consciousness are initial priority. The nurse will closely monitor the patient's cardiac, respiratory, and neurovascular status (NVS) along with the surgical dressing and drain for overt signs of excessive bleeding.

What 3 things should be avoided after hip replacement surgery? ›

Don't cross your legs at the knees for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Don't bring your knee up higher than your hip. Don't lean forward while sitting or as you sit down. Don't try to pick up something on the floor while you are sitting.

How long do you have to follow hip precautions? ›

The main downside of the posterior approach is the need to observe hip precautions in the first 4 weeks and the risk of dislocation down the road. The absence of hip precautions after an anterior approach facilitates recovery especially for women.

What are the three 3 nursing interventions for a postoperative patient? ›

A. Nursing interventions that are required in postoperative care include prompt pain control, assessment of the surgical site and drainage tubes, monitoring the rate and patency of IV fluids and IV access, and assessing the patient's level of sensation, circulation, and safety.

What are the 5 nursing interventions? ›

These are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

What are 3 nursing interventions you are likely to perform to help the client manage her blood pressure? ›

Nursing Management
  • Monitor blood pressure frequently. ...
  • Administer antihypertensive medications as prescribed.
  • Have two large-bore IVs.
  • Provide oxygen f the saturations are low (less than 94%)
  • Limit fluid intake if the patient is in heart failure.
  • Assess ECG to ensure the patient is not having a heart attack.
Jul 25, 2022

What can damage a hip replacement? ›

Periprosthetic fractures involve bone breaks around the implant that can cause it to fail. These fractures are rare and usually occur years after a hip replacement, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A fall, direct blow to the hip or car crash can cause these fractures to occur.

What is the most frequent complication after a hip replacement? ›

While these procedures are effective in improving pain and function [3,4,5,6,7], there is a risk of complications. The most common complications requiring readmission for hip arthroplasty are dislocation and infection, whereas infection dominates following knee arthroplasty [8, 9].


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