Hip Replacement Post-Operative Instructions

Surgery Time

20-30 minutes

Hospital Stay

1-3 days

Average Total Recovery Time

6-8 weeks


6-8 inch incision


Apply ice to your  hip every hour for 20 minutes while awake.

Weight Bearing

You will be weight bearing as tolerated the day of surgery using a walker.  As soon as you can walk steadily without your walker you may use a cane or a staff.   You will use the cane or staff in the hand which is opposite the hip you had surgery on.  This usually takes 1– 2 weeks, sometimes longer, depending on your ability to walk easily after surgery.


Your incision will be closed with glue or staples.

You will have a large Silverlon or Mepilex dressing on your hip and possibly a drain after surgery.  The Silverlon dressing will stay on for 7 days and the Mepilex dressing will stay on for 7 days.  Your drain will be removed the day after surgery and another dressing will be sent home with you to apply to your incision after removing the first dressing.


Once home you may shower leaving your dressing on.    Remove your dressing after 5-7 days.  Shower rinsing incision with warm water, pat hip dry with towel, then pat dry with alcohol and cover with a new dressing or gauze.

Medications After Being Discharged

You will have three medications given to you at discharge.  The first one is a pain medication such as Percocet or Norco which you take as needed.  The second prescription is Robaxin which is used for spasms during the day and for rest at night, and is taken as needed.  The third medication is a blood thinner such as Aspirin 325mg, Eliquis or Xarelto which is taken by mouth, or Lovenox which is given by injection (Sub Q) which you will take 14 days to prevent blood clots.  After you finish taking the blood thinner you will need to take a 81 mg. aspirin every day for a month.


You will be up the day of surgery to walk with assistance to the bathroom, and to eat your dinner sitting in a chair.  When you are discharged from the hospital you will need

to walk around every hour during the day for 5 -15 minutes.  Plan on eating all your meals sitting at your table.  Remember to wear your support hose every day

for 4 weeks.  You should not wear them at night when you go to bed.


You may drive after your first post-op visit if you are not on pain medicines and surgery was not on your right hip.  If you have had surgery on your right hip you need to be able to apply brakes safely.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy will start the day of surgery as long as you are fully awake.  Starting the first day post-op you will have 2 sessions a day in the hospital.  The most important things to remember is DO NOT turn your operative leg inward, DO NOT bend and twist at the waist, and always use a pillow between your knees to turn from side to side in bed.

  • Frog Exercises:  While lying on your back, slide your
  • feet toward your body so your knees are in the air and your feet are flat on the bed. Now, spread your knees apart as far as you can. Hold for 2 minutes. Do these 4 times, 4-6 times a day.
  • Lunges:  Holding onto your walker or counter, standing up straight, take your right leg and lunge forward as far as you can tolerate.   Make sure to keep your back upright and straight.  Hold for 2 minutes.  Go back to standing up straight.  Now lunge forward with the left leg.  Hold for 2 minutes.  Do these 4 times 3-4 times a day. 
  • Knee Bends Standing up:  With legs apart approximately 2-3 feet and back straight hold on to your walker or counter.  Now bend at the knees going down 1 foot and hold for 2 minutes.  Do this 4 times, 3 times a day.  Make sure that you have a chair behind you to catch you if you fall.

Returning to Work

You may return to work 4-6 weeks after surgery.  If you can work from home you may work when you are off pain medicines.

Post-Op Appointment

Your post-op appointment for staple removal will need to be made 12-16 days after surgery.  Please call to make that appointment.

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