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Total hip replacement surgery: Patient Guide 


Here at LMcG Orthopaedics in Geraldton, Dr McGonagle specialises in a range of operations and treatments—one common operation is total hip replacement. To help you better understand what to expect, including hip replacement recovery time, we’ve put together a summary below. 

Total hip replacement surgery & what to expect

If you or someone close to you is due for total hip replacement surgery, you may be a little anxious about the process and not quite sure what to expect. 

For most hip replacements, you will be admitted to hospital on the same morning as surgery. The surgery will take around 1 – 1.5 hours.  Medication will be prescribed for pain management as well as preventing infection and blood clots. 

Total hip replacement surgery recovery time

Hip replacement recovery time varies a little from person to person. You will be encouraged to move your legs as soon as the anaesthetic wears off. You will be sitting out of bed for your dinner on the same day after surgery. You will be walking with the help of crutches or frame, supervised by a physiotherapist the same day or the day after surgery. You will be in hospital for around 3 days. You can leave sooner if you are walking safely! 

Skin clips will be removed at 2 weeks. You will take blood thinning drugs for 35 days after surgery to minimize the risk of blood clots. 

Most people return to work (if applicable) 6 weeks after surgery. 

What helps with total hip replacement surgery? 

To ensure a speedy and safe recovery, it’s essential to follow all the recommendations prescribed to you by your doctor. Part of this will  include follow up appointments to assess your progress. 

Take recommended blood thinning drugs. Take painkillers and laxatives if needed. Regular gentle walking will facilitate rehabilitation, improve blood flow, improve gut motility, and help expand your lungs. Take care when putting on shoes and socks. 

Avoid touching your wound or dressing unnecessarily. The wound is closed with absorbable sutures. Keep the wound covered for 14 days, until it has fully healed. If there is a problem, contact your nurse/doctor. 

Avoid smoking. If diabetic, keep your sugar levels under control. 

Avoid crossing your legs or sitting in very low chairs. 

Here at LMcG Orthopaedics in Geraldton, one of our most common operations is total hip replacement surgery. For further information on total hip replacements or any of our other orthopaedic services, be sure to get in touch today on 08 9921 4847.

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