Frequently Asked Questions about THR and Revision SurgeryNote: These are typical answers not meant to be medical advice. You need to ask your surgeon their advice for your specific total hip replacement surgery.Updated 8/4/09What equipment will I need at home after my surgery?Also see See What Equipment Will I Need Article
Crutches or walker – possibly both
Raised commode (to put over your toilet because a regular toilet seat height is too low to sit on)
Shower/tub chair (so that you can sit while you shower/bathe)
Extended shoe horn (to assist in putting on your shoes)
Long handled grabber (to help reach things on the floor or in high places)
Hip chair (an elevated chair to help prevent you from bending greater than 90 degrees at the hip joint)
Sock aide (to assist in putting on your socks)
Elastic shoe laces (so that you do not have to bend down to tie your shoes)
Long-handled sponge for bathing
When do my staples get removed?Staples are removed two weeks from your surgery date.a. If you go to rehab from the hospital, the staples will be removed at the rehab facility.
b. If you go home from the hospital and have home health care, you may have your staples removed by the home health nurse. (this is often the case with patients who live a distance away)
How long must I wear the white TED stockings? Also See Blood Clot and TEDS ArticlesTED stockings – T.E.D. means thrombo-embolic disease/device- are normally worn for two weeks from the surgery date.a. They need to be worn during the day and may be removed at nighttime as long as they are put back on when you wake in the morning. If there is no swelling after the two weeks are up, you may discontinue wearing the TED stockings.
b. If there is still swelling after the two weeks, continue wearing the stockings during the day until the swelling is gone. To reduce swelling, lie flat three times a day for 30 minutes. Elevate the leg on two or three pillows.What are hip precautions? Also See Hip Precaution Articles
Do not cross your legs at the knees
Do not twist your body at the waist
Do not turn operative foot inward
Do not flex your hip greater than 90°
Do not bend at the waist
Minimize lifting to no more than 20 pounds in the first three months and 40 pounds thereafter
Keep pillows between legs when sleeping
Sit only 30-45 minutes at a time
May ride in a car, stopping every 30 minutes to get out and stretch for 5 – 10 minutes
May sleep on operative side two weeks after surgery with a pillow between your legs
How long must I maintain hip precautions?Complete hip precautions are normally maintained for ten weeks following surgery. After that, an abbreviated set of precautions may be observed.When can I drive?Driving usually can resume at five to six weeks post op. This needs to be discussed with your surgeon.When Can I swim?Swimming may normally resume at five to ten weeks post op.When can I fly in an airplane?Flying may resume at two months. You must sit in an aisle seat, and make arrangements for luggage and connections. Blood clots are a concern so you MUST do ankle pumps every 15 minutes, walk about the plane every 30 minutes, and be taking aspirin or Warfarin (Coumadin).When can I take a shower?Showering may resume after discharge from the hospital. The wound must be covered with plastic wrap to keep water from the incision.How long will I be out of work?You may usually return to work approximately ten weeks after surgery. If you have a sedentary job, you might be able to return sooner.When may I resume sexual activity?Will I be able to resume sexual relations now that my hip has been replace?
Most patients are able to resume safe and enjoyable intercourse after hip replacement. The hip pain and stiffness that was noted before surgery will disappear, and you will find your hip to be pain-free and have better motion. However, it may take several weeks before you are comfortable with you new hip.
When can I resume sexual intercourse?
Generally it is safe to resume intercourse in about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. This will allow time for the incision and muscles around your hip to heal. This topic can be addressed at your 6-week follow-up appointment with your surgeon. Please ask if sexual activity can be resumed and which position(s) are the safest.
What positions are safe for me during intercourse?
Total hip replacement precautions need to be observed during all activities of daily living, including sexual intercourse. Your surgeon, nurse and your physical therapist will instruct you on the precautions that you should follow for everyday activities.
Most patients, male and female, prefer to resume intercourse in a passive manner in the “bottom” position. This position requires less energy. As your hip heals you may take a more active role.
How long after surgery will I need to have antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental work? Also See the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Recommendations.This will be done for the rest of your life.It is often suggested that you do not have any dental work for the first ten weeks following a THR revision surgery.When and how do I donate my own blood (autologous) for surgery?Normally the doctor’s office will contact the American Red Cross and give them your surgery information. They will then contact you at home and make arrangements for your donation. If you are contacted by the Red Cross and they do not have a center in your area, they will look for the nearest blood drive in the time frame that is appropriate.What Kind of PT is recommended? See Early Post Op Exercises