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Postoperative Pain Managment

Postoperative pain management is a team approach; together you, your nurses and surgeon will develop a pain management plan that works for you. You need to be an important part of your pain management. Tell your healthcare team when you feel you need medication and take your medicine when prescribed.

Pain intensity scale
Pain medication is usually administered via your IV (intravenous) on the first day following surgery; patients will be changed to pain medication by mouth on the following day.

Post-Operative Therapy

Early rehabilitation speeds recovery and helps to prevent complications

  • Patients undergoing anterolateral hip replacement begin rehabilitation therapy the day of their surgery with the nurse or rehabilitation therapist
  • On the day following surgery, patients meet with a physical therapist to learn exercises to increase range of motion and strength, and how to use a walker for mobility (please bring your walker with you the day of surgery to be fitted and used while you are in the hospital) 
  • Most patients use a walker for one to two weeks before progressing to a cane for another one to two weeks 
  • Most patients require no hip precautions 
  • Before patients are discharged to home they must be able to walk a predetermined distance, go up and down stairs, and get into and out of a car. Our team will assist patients in these goals.

Patients are encouraged to ask a family member or friend to act as their coach during therapy sessions at the Joint Replacement Center and at home.

Transitioning to Home

Following anterolateral hip replacement surgery at the Joint Replacement Center, most patients are discharged within 24 hours to recover at home with the help of family and friends. Please arrange for someone to pick you up at 11a.m. on your day of discharge.

*Some patients who live a distance away have found it helpful to stay in the area for a week after their surgery and then return home after their follow-up appointment with their surgeon.

Care Coordination/Discharge Planning

Patients will be visited on the first day following surgery by a care coordinator. The care coordinator will work with you and your coach to develop a discharge plan: 

  • Arrange for nursing care and/or physical therapy at home following discharge as ordered by your doctor. 
  • Assist you to obtain any necessary equipment you may need to be safe at home.

Patients who have medical conditions that need to be continuously monitored may continue their rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility. Your care coordinator will help you and your family to explore this option should it be necessary.

Returning to normal activities

  • Most patients who have anterolateral hip replacement are able to walk with a cane one to two weeks after surgery.  
  • During the recovery and rehabilitation process, joint pain and stiffness improve, allowing a return to normal activities. 
  • Patients should avoid high-impact, heavy-lifting and twisting activities until speaking with their surgeon. 
  • Many patients feel well enough to drive about two to four weeks post-surgery.