Discharge Instructions for Hip Replacement
Thank you for entrusting your care to us. We would like to make your healing process as rapid as possible. Below are some instructions based on frequently encountered questions.
- Plan to return 2 weeks after your joint replacement for clinical follow-up. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 410-448-6400.
- Place a dry dressing on the hip incision once or twice a day. The drainage from the hip should be decreasing. If it is not decreasing, let us know. Do not put any creams or ointments on the incision for 6 weeks after surgery.
- Stitches are in place in the hip and should be removed only by our staff at the 2-week follow-up appointment.
- Use some form of support (walker, crutches, cane) for the first 4 to 6 weeks after hip replacement, even if you do not think you need it. This will protect you from falls and allow the bone to grow into the hip replacement components.
- Put a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side for the first 6 weeks. In general, it is better to sleep on the side that was not operated on.
- You may shower starting 4 days after surgery. The incision can get wet but should be patted dry at the end of the shower. Do not soak the incision in a bathtub, hot tub, lake, or pool for 6 weeks after surgery. Showers only until that time. A shower chair can help dramatically with your comfort while taking a shower.
- In general, you should not drive for 6 weeks after joint replacement, and you should never drive while on narcotic medications.
- Try to take the narcotic medications as sparingly as possible: before going to bed and before physical therapy are two common times when patients feel they have more pain and should take the narcotics. Other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are almost as effective without the severe side effects.
- Most patients take 325 mg of aspirin twice a day and wear compression stockings to prevent blood clots. Coated aspirin (Ecotrin or Bufferin) is easier to take than uncoated aspirin, especially when taken with food.
- If you have chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911 to be seen by the Emergency Medical Service.
- If you have any of the following, call our office to be seen in the clinic:
- Increasing redness or increasing drainage around the incision
- Increasing pain despite taking pain medication
- Temperature of 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or above
Numbers to call: Try to reach Pam and Christina, and give them some time to call you back.
- Pam Wilson (registered nurse who works with Dr. Manson): 410-328-7154
- Christina Leos (administrative assistant to Dr. Manson): 410-683-2120
Clinic Appointments: 410-448-6400
If calling during off hours and unable to reach anyone else, you may page the on-call orthopaedic resident: 410-328-6110
This page was last updated: August 28, 2013