Pre-op and Post-Op Hip Guidelines
Planning for your hip surgery prepares you for the operation and helps to ensure a smooth surgery and easier recovery. Here are certain pre-operative and post-operative guidelines which will help you prepare for hip surgery.
When your surgeon and you decide that surgery is the best option to overcome hip pain and restore movement, you will be briefed about the procedure and can start preparing yourself for the surgery.
- Prior to surgery, you should inform your doctors about all the medications you are taking, so that your doctor can decide if any medication can interfere with the procedure and ask you to stop using it.
- You will be asked to stop using herbal medications before surgery as they can lead to bleeding.
- Anti-inflammatory medications are often ceased as well, three to seven days pre-operatively. If the pain from the hip is too severe, options should be discussed with your surgeon.
- Aspirin is often continued, particularly if there is a history of previous heart attack or stroke. This will of course be discussed with your surgeon.
- You will be asked to quit smoking prior to surgery, ideally weeks (or years) before surgery.
- Your doctor will explain all reasonable risks and complications involved with the surgery.
- You may also be advised to consult your general physician or cardiologist to assist with any other health conditions that may cause complications during surgery.
- Based on your medical history, ongoing medications and physical examination, the different options for anaesthesia will be explained to you.
- Your surgeon may also recommend a strengthening program, which includes exercises to improve your strength and flexibility prior to surgery to help you in your post-operative recovery.
- Before you go for your surgery, it is advisable to plan for coming home from the hospital.
- Remove loose rugs and anything that can obstruct your walking path and cause falls or accidents. If necessary, you can widen the walking path to accommodate your walker or cane that you will be using during your recovery period.
- Place all items that you regularly use, such as remote controls and medications, in easy-to-reach places.
- Un-tuck your bedding so that it is easier to move in and out of bed. If your bedroom is situated in one of the higher floors, it may be advisable to relocate to the lower floor to avoid climbing stairs.
- Aim, if possible, to have some assistance after your surgery for a few days.
- Prepare single serving meals so that they can be quickly heated and easily cleaned.
After your surgery, you will be shifted to the recovery room where your vitals will be monitored. Once you are in a stable condition, you will be shifted back to the ward. You will usually walk with the physiotherapist some hours after your surgery. Your physiotherapist will help you move around better by teaching you certain post-operative hip exercises. X-rays will usually be taken the day after the surgery. Most people will leave hospital somewhere between day two and day four following surgery.
During the first few weeks at home, it is important to rest and to allow the soft tissues and bones about your operated hip heal and recover. Gentle walking about the home, and frequent rests with the legs elevated on a bed or a reclining chair will help to reduce the swelling and the risk of blood clotting. You should avoid crossing your legs while sitting or standing, and do not allow your knees to come higher than your hips. Also, avoid sitting in low sofas or chairs. It is always helpful to have some assistance while walking (a stick, crutches or a rolling frame) in the early stages. The post-operative exercises started with your physiotherapist will be slowly increased over time. The first review following discharge from hospital is usually at about six weeks from the date of surgery. You will usually be on some form of blood thinner for six to eight weeks following surgery to reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke or blood clot.