The hip is a joint where the top of the bone in your upper leg (called the femur or thighbone) meets the pelvic bone. The hip joint is called a ball and socket joint. The top of the femur (called the femoral head) is rounded, like a ball. It fits into a concave area (socket) on the pelvic bone, called the acetabulum.
Hip replacement surgery is a procedure done to remove a painful, broken, or diseased hip joint and replace it with an artificial hip joint. If both the femoral head and socket need to be replaced, the surgery is also called total hip arthroplasty, or THA. If only the femoral head needs to be replaced, the surgery is called a partial hip replacement, or hemiarthroplasty.
You may need hip replacement surgery if you have:
Severe pain from arthritis in the hip that limits your ability to do the things you want to do
A broken hip
Tumors in the hip joint
How can I take care of myself when I go home?
How long it takes to get better depends on how well you recover, your overall health, and any complications you may have.
Your provider will give you a list of your medicines when you leave the hospital.
Know your medicines. Know what they look like, how much you should take each time, how often you should take them, and why you take each one.
Take your medicines exactly as your provider tells you to.
Carry a list of your medicines in your wallet or purse. Include any nonprescription medicines and supplements on the list.
Your provider may prescribe medicine to:
Treat or prevent an infection
Prevent side effects, such as nausea or constipation, from other treatments
Help prevent blood clots
Help build bone and prevent bone loss
You may need to continue a rehabilitation program after you leave the hospital to help you recover from hip replacement surgery. Most rehabilitation programs include:
Physical therapy to help you regain muscle strength and teach you ways to move safely
Occupational therapy to help you relearn safe ways to do the tasks that the you did before your hip replacement surgery
To care for your incision:
Keep your incision clean.
If you are told to change your dressing on your incision, wash your hands before changing the dressing and after disposing of the dressing.
Follow your provider’s instructions for follow-up appointments and routine tests.
Talk with your provider about any questions or fears you have.
Diet, Exercise, and Other Lifestyle Changes
Follow the treatment plan your healthcare provider prescribes.
Get plenty of rest while youâ€™re recovering. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy diet.
Drink enough fluids to keep your urine light yellow in color, unless you are told to limit fluids.
Exercise as your provider recommends.
Don’t smoke. Smoking can delay healing.
Lose weight if you need to and keep a healthy weight.
Follow activity restrictions, such as not driving or operating machinery, as recommended by your healthcare provider or pharmacist, especially if you are taking pain medicines.
Find someone to help you with your activities for a time after you go home.
Make your home safe to prevent injury and help you heal. This may include:
Removing throw rugs from the floors to prevent tripping
Installing hand rails or grab bars in showers or other areas where you may slip
Using raised toilet seats or other equipment to keep your hip in the proper position
Call your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening:
Trouble doing your normal daily activities
Pain that is not controlled with your medicines
Signs of infection around your surgical wound. These include:
The area around your wound is more red or painful.
Your wound area is very warm to touch.
You have blood, pus, or other fluid coming from the wound area.
You have a fever higher than 101.5Â° F (38.6Â° C).
You have chills or muscle aches.
Swelling in your leg, ankle, or foot on the side of your hip replacement
Coldness or change in color of the skin of your leg, ankle, or foot on the side of your hip replacement
Warmth, redness, or pain in your leg
If you are taking medicine to prevent blood clots, unusual or unexpected bleeding
Developed by RelayHealth.
Acute Care Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2013-10-24 Last reviewed: 2015-01-22
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Hip Replacement Surgery Discharge Information: References