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Total Hip Replacement
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Total hip replacement (THR) is surgery to replace a hip joint damaged by wear, injury, or disease.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have a seizure or feel confused.
Seek care immediately if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your incision comes apart.
- You urinate less than usual or not at all.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have more pain and swelling in your hip joint, even after you take pain medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Use a cane, walker, or crutches as directed. These devices will help decrease your risk for falls.
- Wear pressure stockings. These are long, tight stockings that put pressure on your legs to promote blood flow and prevent clots.
- Do not walk up and down stairs. This puts too much pressure on your hip and your incision. Your healthcare provider will let you know when it is okay to walk up and down stairs.
- Do your exercises several times each day. Exercises build strength and prevent blood clots.
Prevent dislocation of your hip implant:
- Do not lean forward when you are in bed. Sit up with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Do not sit on a low chair. Use armrests when you rise from a sitting position to decrease the force and pressure on your hips.
- Do not sit on the sofa, rocking chairs, or stools.
- Do not cross your legs. Keep your knees apart. Place a pillow or wedge between your knees when you sit or lie down.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You will need to have your stitches or staples removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your wound as directed:
Do not get your incision wet until it is completely healed. Ask your healthcare provider when it is okay to get your incision wet. Change your bandage as directed and if it gets wet or dirty.
A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. If you are not able to be safe at home, you may be admitted to a rehabilitation facility.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.