Total Hip Replacement

Home Care Instructions


Increase daily activities gradually.

  • Maintain weight bearing as taught in physical therapy and ordered by your doctor.
  • Use your walker or crutches until your doctor sees you in the office.
  • Maintain hip precautions at all times (refer to your therapy booklet).
  • Avoid sitting in any seat that forces your hip to flex greater than 90 degrees.
  • Initially you will tolerate better a firm, straight back chair with arms.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting. Do not squat or cross your legs.
  • During the night for the first 6 weeks, use the abduction triangle pillow between your legs.
  • Apply ice pack to hip 20 to 30 minutes per day for the first 24-72 hours.
  • No Driving until seen by your doctor and given permission.
  • Do not return to work until your doctor grants permission.

After seen by your surgeon you MAY:

  • Swim
  • Bike
  • Walk
  • Golf
  • Garden, use a sitting stool, do not kneel 


  • Play singles tennis
  • Jog
  • Run
  • Shovel using the operative leg
  • Do high impact aerobics


Continue to use your Incentive Spirometer every 1-2 hours while you are awake for 7-10 days after discharge. This will help prevent respiratory problems such as pneumonia.


  • Take your pain medication as directed.
  • Pain medication may be constipating.
  • Include high fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If needed, you may use a laxative of your choice.
  • Follow anticoagulation (blood thinner medication) instructions provided to you when you were discharged from the hospital.


If you have an Aquacel dressing: Aquacel post op dressing protocol; please remove this dressing 7 days after your surgery. See Aquacel Instruction sheet. You may shower with the Aquacel dressing and after it is removed if no drainage. If any foul smelling, green, tan, or excessive bloody drainage, notify your surgeon.


  • Wear support stockings for 3 weeks to reduce swelling and maintain good circulation.
  • You may remove stockings for sleep, but you must reapply each morning.

You will be given a “White Card”.

Carry this card in your wallet to inform your doctors of your need for antibiotic therapy before any surgery or invasive procedures such as: colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, heart catheterization, etc. This includes dental procedures and cleanings.

Do not wear shoes that tie unless someone else ties them for you.

  • When walking, wear shoes that fit well rather than slippers.
  • Do not use a walker on stairs.
  • Avoid and remove any objects on the floor (such as a throw rug) that may cause you to trip and fall.


  • Fever of 101.5 F. or greater
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Significant increase of pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, calf or thigh pain


If you believe you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS)