Hip replacement

How long will I be in hospital?
Most people need to stay in hospital for 5 nights following a hip replacement.

When will my stitches (sutures) be removed?
The sutures will be removed 10-14 days after surgery.

Will I be able to place weight through the leg?
You will be able to place full weight through the new joint unless you are told otherwise.

How long will it take before the pain from the surgery stops?
The pain usually stops after 4-6 weeks.

How much time will I need to take off work?
You will need 6 weeks off work after the procedure.

Will I need any help from family or friends after I leave hospital?
Before you are discharged from hospital, we will make sure that you are independently mobile, that is, that you can walk up and down the stairs and along corridors without help.

When can I drive?
You may start driving again 6 weeks after surgery.

What are the possible complications of this procedure?
Possible complications that may occur include:
• Dislocation (the ball comes out of the socket); this is rare and occurs in less than 1 in every 100 people
• Blood clots developing in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) that can travel up to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).  Precautions are taken to try and prevent this whilst you are in hospital and after your discharge.
• Infection; the chances of this are low and precautions are taken to prevent this
• Different leg lengths; a recognised complication of total hip replacement surgery, but rare as care is taken during the operation to try and prevent this
• Nerve injury; there is a small risk of nerve damage around the hip area which can result in muscle weakness in the lower leg.

Concerns that are not normal following hip replacement and must alert you back to see Mr Carrington:
• Increasing redness about the wound site
• Increasing pain and swelling at the wound site
• Temperature over 38° C
• Any fluid coming out of the wound site
• Painful calf swelling
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath