Hip Replacement Surgery
This guide will help you and your support person know what to expect during your hip replacement surgery and recovery.
Your recovery may vary slightly from this plan of care.
At UnityPoint Health - Methodist | Proctor, we all work together to get you home and feeling well.
Day of Hip Replacement Surgery
In preparation for surgery, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- List of all medications, doses, and times you take them. Include supplements, vitamins, ointments, eye drops, etc.
- Healthcare power of attorney and living will papers, if you have them.
Do not wear
Jewelry, dentures, glasses, hearing aids, hairpins, wigs, makeup, piercings, watches or colored nail polish. (Or leave these items with your support person.)
Before surgery/preoperative area:
- Upon checking in, you will be directed to the surgical preparation area. Your support person may stay with you during this time. You are in this area for approximately two hours.
- Your nurse will review your health history and medications.
- A technician may draw your blood.
- We encourage you to walk in the hall before surgery. This promotes circulation and helps prevent blood clots.
- A nurse will review the pain scale with you.
- A respiratory care technician or a nurse will show you how to use an incentive spirometer, which will help prevent pneumonia.
- A nurse will start an IV for fluids and medications.
- An anesthesiologist and your surgeon will talk with you.
- An anesthesiologist may insert the epidural or a femoral nerve block.
- The surgeon will mark where you will be having surgery.
- Your support person
will be directed to the waiting lounge, where they will be kept
informed of your progress. They also are given a pager so they can be
contacted without having to stay in the lounge. They are also given your
assigned number to follow on the tracking board in the waiting lounge.
- A staff member will apply small EKG electrodes on the back of your shoulders and on your sides to monitor your heart rhythm.
- You will either have spinal, epidural, nerve block, general anesthesia or combination of a spinal with a femoral block.
- A staff member will perform a sterile scrub of your hip area to reduce the chance of an infection after surgery.
- A nurse will insert a urinary catheter.
- Surgery lasts about 1-2 hours.
In the recovery room
- After your surgery, you will be in the recovery for 1-2 hours. You will probably awaken slowly as your nurse constantly monitors your progress.
- To help prevent swelling, promote circulation and decrease the chance for blood clots, you will have special stockings, wraps and compression devices on your legs.
- You will have an abductor pillow positioned between your legs to maintain correct alignment.
- You will have a drain from the hip area.
- You may have oxygen in your nose.
- You may have a pulse oximeter on your finger, which measures how much oxygen is flowing in your blood and measures your heart rate.
- You may have a pain-control device.
- A nurse will draw your blood for testing.
- An X-ray will be taken.
In your hospital room
- Nursing staff will monitor your temperature, blood pressure, pulses, breathing, level of pain and circulation frequently.
- You will be offered ice chips and/or water. The afternoon or evening of surgery you, will be given a clear liquid diet (ex., Jell-O, juice and broth).
- Your nurse will remind you to use the incentive spirometer while you are awake.
- If you have a pain pump, a nurse will show you how to use it.
- A nurse will remind you to do your ankle, quadricep and gluteal exercises.
- Depending on your surgeon's orders, you will be assisted in getting up in the evening, either to the side of the bed or into a rocking chair.
- Your surgeon may order for you to start physical therapy in the afternoon.
Day 1 After Hip Replacement Surgery
- A technician will draw blood early in the morning so the results are available when your surgeon or physician's assistant makes rounds.
- You may receive a blood transfusion (this is rare).
- The following may be removed: catheter, epidural, nerve block, catheter, drain, IV fluids, patient controlled analgesia pump and oxygen.
- Your IV and medications will continue.
- You may eat and drink as you wish, unless you are on a special diet or nauseated.
- You will have a sponge bath and will be encouraged to provide as much of your own care as possible.
- Physical therapy starts in the morning. You will be assisted in getting up to a chair and walking as far as possible.
- You will have an afternoon physical therapy session and will be assisted in getting up to the chair again.
- You may sit for one hour at a time. If you wish to sit up longer you may, but you will have to use your call light to get assistance with standing, repositioning and sitting back down.
- You will be assisted getting back into bed.
- Your nurse will teach you about your medications.
- The case manager will discuss discharge plans with you.
Day 2+ After Hip Replacement Surgery
Day 2 after Surgery
- Your care will continue as on the first day after surgery, with the following additions:
- The following will be removed if they haven't been removed yet: catheter, epidural, femoral nerve block, drain, IV fluids, patient controlled analgesia pump and oxygen. You will then be able to wear your own clothes.
- Your surgeon or physician's assistant will remove your surgical dressing.
- You will now need to ask your nurse for pain pills. Take pain medicine with food or milk about 30-60 minutes prior to therapy and as needed. Taking pain medication before activities helps relax your muscles and increases your ability to complete your therapy. Let your nurse know if your pain is not controlled.
- Physical therapy will continue this morning. You will have physical therapy twice a day Monday-Saturday and once on Sunday. You will learn transfer techniques and begin walking with assistance.
- You may climb stairs.
- You will have occupational therapy to assist you with activities such as bathing and getting dressed and to evaluate your need for any home equipment.
- The Case Manager will review your discharge plan, and you may be discharged.
Day 3 after Surgery
Your care will continue as on the first days after surgery, with the following additions:
- You will have physical and occupational therapy and may climb stairs.
- If you have not had a bowel movement by this time, ask for a laxative.
- You will most likely be discharged.
Day 4 after Surgery
- Your care will continue as on the first days after surgery, with the following additions:
- If you have not climbed stairs, you will before you go home.
- Your physical or occupational therapist may ask a family member to observe your therapy sessions so they can assist you.
- Your nurse will review activities, incision care, medications, restrictions and doctor appointments with you.
- You will receive written discharge instructions.