After a hip or knee replacement surgery, you will stay 2 to 3 days in the hospital to recover from the anesthesia and surgery itself. A large bandage will be placed over your incision and part of your leg, and you will spend 1 to 2 hours in the recovery room before you go to your designated room. You can expect to feel tired and groggy when you wake up.
Back in your room, you will have an IV, which is a catheter or tube that is usually inserted into a vain in the arm. Fluids will pass through the IV. Gradually, you will resume a normal diet. To drain urine, a Foley catheter may be used. This is usually removed the day after surgery. Passing your urine might be a little difficult after the removal, so always let the nurse know if you need assistance.
The resident nurse will show you how to prevent blood clots. You will also be taught deep breathing and coughing exercises and leg exercises to do while you are in bed. These exercises will prevent pneumonia and blood clots from occurring.
The doctor will prescribe pain medicine to control soreness or tenderness and administer the medicine through a machine that allows you to control how much you take. You may also receive them via the IV, oral pills, or a special tube that is placed into your back during the surgery. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection.
On the day of the surgery, you may be asked to try to walk. After the day of surgery, a physical therapist or an occupational therapist will help you move and walk again. You will be using walkers or crutches and taught exercises. For hip replacement patients, the occupational therapist will instruct you on how to perform daily activities. On the second day, you will be encouraged to move and walk by yourself, but always with someone to assist you.
After the replacement, the surgeon might encourage you to use a CPM (continuous passive machine) while in bed. This machine helps bend the knee or hip for you. Always follow instructions for this exercise to prevent injury.
Once you can independently move around and walk, you will be able to go home.
St Pete Hip and Knee, and orthopedic surgeon Dr Kurt Hirshorn, MD, guarantee minimally invasive treatments and quality post-operative care for their patients. Schedule an appointment today or call us at St Pete Hip and Knee in St Petersburg, Florida.