Problems at Home

  • Excessive swelling of your leg and foot: It is not uncommon to develop some swelling in the first few weeks after surgery. If this occurs, you should elevate your leg whenever you are not up to walking. However, excessive swelling of the foot and lower leg can be due to thrombosis (blood clots) in the veins in the leg.
  • Chest pain, a cough or shortness of breath may be signs of embolism. Please do not ignore these symptoms. Call us right away.
  • Drainage from the wound, or increasing redness around the wound, could signify impending infection. Our office should be notified, and in most instances you will need to come in and let Dr. Hirshorn take a look at it.
  • High fever could also be a sign of impending infection. You need to take your temperature twice a day for a month after surgery. Take it three times a day if it is elevated over 99 degrees. If you get two readings, at least three hours apart, of over 100 degrees, you need to notify us immediately.
  • Increasing hip pain. Pain should be decreasing from day to day. If it seems to be steadily increasing, let us know.
  • Dislocation of the hip. If your hip dislocates, you will immediately recognize what has happened. You will have severe hip pain, your foot will “point the wrong way” and you will not be able to walk.
  • The operated leg feels too long. After hip replacement, many patients complain that the operated leg feels too long. This is usually a false sensation and goes away after a month or two. It is somewhat akin to the felling one gets that the filling is too prominent after the dentist fills a tooth. A week or so later, the filled tooth feels normal! A great deal of effort is put into trying to get the leg lengths correct. For most surgeons accurate measurement is very difficult during surgery. It is common to be off by a quarter of an inch or so. Most people easily adjust to a difference of a quarter-inch, and are hardly aware of it. Many “normal people” have up to a quarter-inch in difference. Sometimes, however, the patient may feel that the leg is an inch or more too long when, in fact, the leg lengths are absolutely equal. This brings us to the difficult concept of “true” and “apparent” leg length differences. True leg lengths are measured from the pelvis to the ankle. Apparent leg lengths are measured from the navel to the ankle. In a normal person, the true and apparent leg lengths are equal. If one hip is pulled outwards (abducted) by tight ligaments, it will feel too long, even though it is not (and the apparent leg length will be longer than the true leg length). If one hip is pulled inwards (adducted), it will feel too short, even though it is not. Dr. Hirshorn uses a technique for measuring leg length in surgery that is extremely accurate and almost fool-proof.
  • Thigh pain. Patients with cementless hip replacements may have thigh pain for 18 to 24 months after surgery, until the implant is securely locked in place by bone growth. This pain can be expected to be minimal and can be ignored.
Kurt Hirshorn MD of St Pete Hip and Knee guarantees expertise and compassion when caring for his patients, and ensures a good hospital stay. Schedule an appointment today or call us at (727) 755-0313.

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4600 4th Street North
St Petersburg, FL 33703, USA
Phone: (727) 755-0313

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St Pete Hip and Knee | 4600 4th Street North, St Petersburg, FL 33703 | Phone (727) 755-0313
Kurt C. Hirshorn, MD, MPH | Copyright (c) 2019