How active should I be after surgery?

I recommend taking it easy the first two weeks. Perform range of motion exercises taught by your therapist, listen to your body and advance as tolerated. Avoid navigating stairs or performing any heavy lifting for 6 weeks.

How long will I be on pain medications?

Most patients are taking very little narcotic medication by 6 weeks after surgery. The pain meds are there for your comfort. You do not have to take them. Some patients stop pain medication as soon as they get home. If you are comfortable and have no pain, consider extending the time between doses and slowly taper off the narcotic.

When can I shower?

It is mandatory to shower prior to your follow-up appointment with me, as I have a very acute sense of smell! You will have a waterproof dressing which is safe to use in showers daily, starting the day following surgery. If you notice water is getting under the dressing, call our office. Do not remove the dressing yourself and don’t let anyone else do it.

When will I be able to drive?

Most patients are safe to drive 4-6 weeks after surgery. That being said, if you are taking narcotics and driving you will get a DWI. Driving is demanding and it is up to you to make a responsible decision to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

When can I have sex?

You can have sex as soon as you find a willing partner.

My thigh is really swollen. Is that Normal?

Yes. It is a normal response of the body trying to “immobilize” and heal the injury of surgery. The swelling will often worsen when you get home before it starts to improve. Six months will go by and you may still detect a difference in the size of your thigh, which will change with activity. You may also notice yellow and green bruising around the incision. All are a normal part of recovery.

My thigh is numb. Is this normal?

Some numbness in the area of the thigh is very common following hip replacement. This generally improves but may take more than a year. Some patients will have some permanent numbness especially on the outer aspect of the incision.

When can I travel after surgery?

I would refrain from traveling by air for 6 weeks after surgery. However, if you must go, call our office so we can write you a blood thinner to take the morning of the flight. Doing calf exercises during your trip is recommended. If you will be driving, or flying more than 3 hours, you should plan on taking periodic breaks where you can walk.

Will I set off the alarms at the airport?

If you go through a radio-wave scanners (one where you stand with your hands up in the air) you are likely to be fine. If you have Pre-check and/or go through a metal detector you will set off alarms. I suggest if you are Pre-checked, go through the shorter line. When you get to the scanner tell them you have a total hip and would prefer to go through the Radio-wave scanner. Millions of Americans fly yearly with hip and knee replacements. Bottom line, this is not an issue you should worry about.

Can I drink Alcohol?

You may drink alcohol in moderation as soon as you discontinue your pain medication for at least 24 hours AND the wounds are healed. Surgery and medication will make you more sensitive to the effects of alcohol. Please be cautious.

I limp, will this go away?

Yes, it will go away. The initial startup limp can take 6 to 12 months to go away.

Do I need antibiotics when I go to the dentist?

There is mixed literature on antibiotics and dental care. Antibiotics are not without side effects and do not guarantee you will not get an infection. If you are getting routine cleaning or a small filling done, there is limited evidence to support antibiotic use. If, however, you are having major dental work and/or are immune compromised, I recommend your dentist write a script for an antibiotic of their choice, to cover for bacteria they expect to encounter in your mouth.

When will I be seen after surgery?

I will typically see you every day in the hospital. I will then see you at 2 week, 6 week, 3 month and 12 month follow ups. I will need to repeat and xray every 4 years after that.