Hip arthroplasty, or hip replacement surgery, is performed when the hip joint has been injured or has degenerated due to disease. The surgeon removes some or all of the hip joint, replacing it with a prosthesis to improve the patient’s mobility and to eliminate or greatly reduce the pain.
There are a number of questions that emerge prior to any surgery. The patient will want to know how to prepare for the operation and also how it will be performed. Those questions are answered during a pre-surgery doctor’s visit.
However, other questions that you should ask your doctor might not come to mind until after your hip surgery. The following are a few questions that are good to ask your doctor about the post-surgery recovery period:
Is Constipation Normal After Hip Surgery?
Constipation can occur following any surgery. It is often due to the medications that are prescribed, and also due to the natural decrease in daily activities after the operation.
Patients are also following a different diet before the surgery, and this can be a factor. Constipation can cause the patient to strain, which is dangerous for incisions, staples, or stitching at the surgical site. Your doctor may suggest a gentle stool softener to combat constipation.
How Much Pain Should I Expect?
This is a difficult question to answer, because different patients process pain differently. What is excruciating for some is manageable for others.
Using a scale of 1 to 10, describe to your health professional the level of pain you’re experiencing, with 10 being extremely severe pain. Be specific about the area in which the pain is experienced: Is it on the inside, where the joint was replaced, or is it at the incision area?
Communication with your doctor is key when managing your post-surgery pain. Your physician can prescribe medications and treatments that will ease your discomfort while you heal after your hip surgery.
Other than Reporting Extreme Pain, When Should I Contact My Surgeon?
If you are showing signs of an infection, it is extremely important to contact the surgeon right away. Signs of an infection include increased pain in the joint.
Some swelling is to be expected – but if the swelling increases, and the site is warm and is becoming very red, you may have an infection. Other indications of infection is if the drainage from the incision has an odor, or if your temperature rises above 101.6.
The surgeon should be contacted with any severe change, including increased pain, increased weakness, the inability to move, numbness or tingling that hadn’t previously appeared, dizziness, bathroom issues (including constipation that continues despite treatment), difficulty urinating, an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting.
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you have chest pain or trouble breathing.
When Can I Resume My Normal Activities?
Driving is to be avoided until after your first follow-up appointment, at which point your surgeon will evaluate whether you are physically ready to drive. If you are still healing in key areas, the doctor may advise you against driving for a certain amount of time, or until they can re-evaluate your condition.
Additionally, you shouldn’t drive if you are still taking certain pain medications. You will not be released to drive or operate machinery until the medications are discontinued.
Expect to avoid using the leg on the side on which your hip surgery was performed for at least six weeks after surgery.
Orthopedic Surgeons in Michigan
Movement Orthopedics is here to provide orthopedic surgery and urgent care when you need it most. If you’re experiencing pain related to a degenerative or injured joint, contact us to learn more.
We provide comprehensive orthopedic urgent care and state-of-the art treatments for your orthopedic needs. Contact us today by calling (586) 436-3785 or by filling out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free, active lifestyle once again.