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What Happens After Hip Surgery?

How many people have complications after hip surgery?
What sort of therapies will my doctor prescribe after hip surgery?
What can I do to prevent further injuries after hip surgery?
What is osteonecrosis?

How many people have complications after hip surgery?

Complications can often be experienced after surgery. The highest percentage of complications were pulmonary or cardiac, but others included gastrointestinal(mouth, stomach, intestines, anus) tract bleeding and venous thromboembolism(blood clot). Because hip fractures cause patients to be immobile for long periods, pneumonia can also occur.

What sort of therapies will my doctor prescribe after hip surgery?

Your doctor will examine you to measure:
  • Posture: to determine whether the back, legs, hips, and spine are properly aligned.
  • Gait: to determine how much weight is being put on hips, legs, and feet.
  • Range of motion: to make sure you are flexible enough for daily movement.
  • Palpation: to check for soreness or swelling.

Once your doctor has examined these factors, he or she will develop plan for therapy with you. They will recommend heat, ice, or both for minimizing pain and inflammation. Some even recommend electrodes, which stimulate muscles and reduce pain. Vitality Medical offers safe, reliable heating and ice pads, as well as Tens Units or Electrotherapy and electrodes.

Your doctor will recommend a variety of exercise therapies, including:
  • Range of motion exercises: increases range of motion in limbs.
  • Gait exercises: corrects walking habits.
  • Balance exercises: allows you to adjust to new joint sensations and prevents falling.
  • Strengthening exercises: increases muscle strengthen.
  • Progressive Resistance Exercises (PRE): uses a variety of equipment that adjusts to offer varying resistances.

In order to heal effectively it is important to know your limits. It is important that you try to stay physically active. Too much physical activity, though, can make the condition even worse. If you are feeling pain while exercising, stop and talk to your doctor.

What can I do to prevent further injuries after hip surgery?

There are measures you can take around the house to prevent further injuries. These measures include:
Avoid crossing your legs and do not bend more your hips more than 90 degrees. If you experience fever or chills, swelling or tenderness of the wound, or an increase in pain regardless of activity, contact your doctor immediately.

What is osteonecrosis?

Osteonecrosis means "death of the bone." It usually occurs because of bone trauma or blood loss and the likelihood of Osteonecrosis is increased with hip replacement surgery.


OrthoInfo - Hip Fractures
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons - Total Hip Replacement - Osteonecrosis
NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases - Bone Health
Mayo Clinic - Osteoporosis

Helpful Articles

University of Washington - Bone Density
Osteopenia - Dexa Scanning

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