Total Hip Replacement Q & A
Will Dr. Yadav perform my total hip replacement?
Yes! Dr. C.S. Yadav will personally conduct your hip replacement operation assisted by his team and para medical staff.
What is the chance for success?
Success of the surgery should be answered by asking yourself the following three questions: Are you glad you had the operation? Did it fulfill your expectations? Would you do it again? Approximately 98% of patients at one year will say “yes” to all three questions.
What type of anesthesia will be used?
How long is the surgery?
What are the risks involved with this surgery?
Risks include infection, blood loss, blood clots, and damages to nerves and arteries. Every precaution is taken to minimize these risks, including the use of pre and post surgery antibiotics, short term use of anticoagulants or compression devices and careful surgical technique.
What is the recovery time?
Each patient heals from surgery at a different pace. In most cases, you will be restricted to the use of a walker or crutches for approximately 2-3 weeks. You will then be allowed to advance to a cane outdoors and no support around the house for several weeks. You will gradually return to normal function without any assistive devices. This usually takes approximately 3 months but may take longer.
How long will I be in the hospital?
You will be discharged home when you are medically stable, you pass physical therapy, and your pain is controlled. For most patients this is 2-3 days following surgery.
How do I take care of my incision?
You will have a waterproof bandage that will be put on before you leave the hospital.
What to do about post-operative constipation?
It is very common to have constipation post-operatively. This may be due to a variety of factors but is especially common when taking narcotic pain medication. A simple over-the-counter stool softener is the best prevention for this problem. In rare instances, you may require a suppository or enema.
Should I use ice or heat after total joint replacement surgery?
Ice should be used for the first several weeks after total hip replacement surgery, particularly if you have a lot of swelling or discomfort. Once the initial swelling has decreased, you may use ice and/or heat.
I have insomnia after total hip replacement surgery. Is this normal? What can I do about it?
Insomnia is a common complaint following hip replacement surgery. Nonprescription remedies may be effective. If insomnia continues to be a problem, medication may be prescribed for you y your primary care physician.
What are my restrictions after surgery?
You will need to keep your knee and hip flexion around 90 degrees and do not cross your legs for 6 weeks after surgery. You will need to sleep with a pillow between your knees for that time period as well.
Is swelling of my knee, leg, foot and ankle normal?
Yes, for three to six months. Typically swelling becomes most significant 7-10 days post op. To decrease swelling, elevate your leg and apply ice for 20 minutes at a time (3-4 times a day). If swelling is unresponsive to ice/elevation and /or associated with calf pain or shortness of breath contact Dr. C.S. Yadav's staff immediately.
When can I drive?
Some patients may drive as soon as 2 weeks after surgery1, while others may need as long as 8 weeks.2 Importantly, drivers must not be taking any pain medications that impair driving skills—this is unsafe and illegal. In addition, reflexes and muscle strength should have returned to their pre-surgical levels. (As rehabilitation progresses, reflexes and muscle strength may be better than pre-surgical levels.)
Is it normal to have numbness along the outside of my knee following surgery?
You may experience some numbness on the outside of your knee, this occurs when making the incision damaging nerves. This usually goes away with time.
When can I travel?
You may travel as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. You should get up to stretch or walk at least once an hour and stay well hydrated when taking long trips. This is important to help prevent blood clots.
When can I return to work?
It depends on the nature of your job. If your work is mostly sedentary, you can probably return within 1 month. If your work is more active, you may require up to 3 months before you can return to full duty. In some cases, more or less time off will be necessary.
What activities are permitted following surgery?
You may return to most activities as tolerated, including walking, gardening, dancing, and golf. Good activities to help with motion and strengthening are swimming and use of a stationary bicycle. You should avoid high impact activities like running and jumping and vigorous sports such as singles tennis.
When can I shower?
You may shower 4 days after your operation. You will have steri-strips (brownish pieces of tape) over your incision line. These will gradually begin to curl around the edges at 2 weeks after surgery. When this happens, you may gently pull the curled tape off. Underneath will be a healed incision line. Also, you may notice a clear piece of thread coming from the top and bottom of your incision line. Do not pull or trim this suture. These are absorbable sutures, and they will fall off on their own somewhere around the fourth week. Be sure to dry the incision line well after showering.
When can I immerse my hip totally, such as for bathing or swimming in a pool?
Your hip can be totally immersed once your incision is completely healed.
How long will I need a bandage on my incision?
After the first initial dressing change in the hospital, you will not be required to use a bandage on your incision. If there is any drainage, use a dry sterile gauze or band-aid to protect the area.
How long will I be on pain medication?
It is not unusual to require some form of pain medication for approximately 6-12 weeks. Initially, the medication will be strong (such as a narcotic). Taking it as prescribed usually provides the most effective pain relief. Most people are able to wean off their strong pain medication after 1 month and switch to an overthe-counter medication.
When can I bend to pick things up?
You are under total hip precautions for 6 to 12 weeks (you must not bend your hip more than 60-90 degrees; do not turn toes in or out; do not cross your ankles or legs). You must avoid bending past your knees to pick up anything during this time. Check with your surgeon to see what length of time is best for you.
Can I go up and down stairs?
Yes. Initially, you will lead with your operated leg when coming down. As your muscles get stronger and your motion improves, you will be able to perform stairs in a more normal fashion (usually in about a month).
When can I resume sexual activity?
Check with your physician first. Most patients are able to resume sexual activity within 6-8 weeks.
Will I set off the security monitors at the airport?
You will probably set off the alarm. Be proactive and inform the security personnel that you have had a total hip replacement and will most likely set off the alarm. Wear clothing that will allow you to show them your hip incision if necessary.
How long will my total hip last?
Ninety to ninety-five percent of total hip replacements should last 15 years or longer. The most important factors in maintaining your hip replacement would be your activity level and keeping your weight under control.