During the immediate recovery period, patients are given intravenous fluids. Intravenous fluids are important to maintain a patient's electrolytes and replace any fluids lost during surgery. Antibiotics might be administered as well as pain medication. Patients also will notice tubes draining fluid from the surgical wound site. The amount and character of the drainage is important to the doctor and can be monitored closely by the nurse in attendance. A dressing is applied in the operating room and will remain in place for two to four days to be later changed by the attending surgeon and staff.
Pain-control medications are commonly given through a patient-controlled-analgesia (PCA) pump. Pain medications occasionally can cause nausea and vomiting. Antinausea medications may then be given.
Measures are taken to prevent blood clots in the lower extremities. Patients are placed in elastic hose (TEDs) after surgery. Compression stockings are often added, which help by forcing blood circulation in the legs. Patients are encouraged to actively exercise the lower extremities in order to mobilize venous blood in the lower extremities to prevent blood clots. Medications are often given to thin the blood in order to further prevent blood clots.
Immediately after surgery, patients are encouraged to frequently perform deep breathing and coughing in order to avoid lung congestion and the collapse of tiny airways in the lungs. Patients are also given a blow bottle whereby active blowing against resistance maintains the opening of the breathing passages.
Total Hip Replacement Recovery Tips can help you to have a smooth and successful recovery :
- Get in a healthy exercise routine
- Most hip replacement patients are able to walk within the same day or next day of surgery; most can resume normal routine activities within the first 3 to 6 weeks of their total hip replacement recovery. Once light activity becomes possible, it’s important to incorporate healthy exercise into your recovery program. Recommended activities include gradually increased walking and light household activities (sitting, standing, climbing stairs). Movement is essential to a healthy recovery.
- Pay attention to diet and weight
- Excess weight can put stress on your new hip prosthesis and increase wear and the risk of complication. Maintaining a healthy body weight before and after your surgery can help to improve your recovery process and the ultimate lifespan of your prosthesis. Additionally, make sure to maintain a balanced diet during your recovery.
- Exercise to Promote Blood Flow
- Certain exercises can help to promote blood flow and prevent clots. These include:
- Regularly squeezing the thigh and calf.
- Motion exercises for the legs that utilize full range of leg motions
- Walking with or without the assistance of supportive devices (such as walker/cane)
- Make household preparations