Saturday, April 13, 2024

Leg Swelling After Hip Surgery

How Long Does Knee Pain After Hip Replacement Last

Leg swelling after hip joint surgery

How long knee pain lasts after a hip replacement can differ from person to person.

Youll likely experience knee pain for about 2 weeks and up to 1 month after surgery. But several factors can influence how long your knee pain lasts, including:

  • how much activity you do while youre recovering
  • how closely youre following physical therapy recommendations
  • how much stretching youre doing each day
  • how regularly youre taking prescribed pain medications
  • the position you sleep in at night

There are many options to treat knee pain after a hip replacement. Physical therapy and temporary lifestyle changes can help reduce knee pain caused by the surgery. Additionally, the following may help.

Total Joint Replacement Swelling

Total joint replacement surgery is a common and successful surgery to relieve pain and restore function in a joint that has been damaged by arthritis or injury. However, like all surgeries, there is a period of recovery and it is not uncommon for patients to experience swelling in the operated joint. This is a normal part of the healing process and usually subsides within a few weeks. In the meantime, patients can help manage the swelling by elevating the affected joint, applying ice, and taking pain medication as prescribed.

One of the most frequently performed surgeries in medicine is total knee replacement. Arthritis of the knee joint is the most common reason for a replacement surgery to be performed. The prosthetic joint is used to replicate the motion and alignment of the natural joint. An increase in fluid in the tissue results in swelling. It is possible for swelling after knee replacement surgery to be a sign of a serious pathology such as deep vein thrombosis or infection. The narrowing of the blood vessels that feed fluid to the region is an effect of icing. It is recommended that patients raise their leg slightly above their heart rate.

Looking After Your New Hip

With care, your new hip should last well. The following advice may be given by the hospital to help you care for your new hip. However, the advice may vary based on your doctor’s recommendations:

  • avoid bending your hip more than 90° during any activity
  • avoid twisting your hip
  • do not swivel on the ball of your foot
  • when you turn around, take small steps
  • do not apply pressure to the wound in the early stages
  • do not cross your legs over each other
  • do not force your hip or do anything that makes it feel uncomfortable
  • avoid low chairs and toilet seats

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Swelling After Hip Replacement

Hip or Leg swelling after hip replacement surgery is a natural response of the body to the trauma endured by the tissues during the surgery. Normally the swelling would decrease over a period of days, weeks, or even months.

However, excessive swelling after hip replacement may also be a sign of infection or deep vein thrombosis. The treating surgeon usually prescribes medications after the surgery to prevent infection and deep vein thrombosis.

During a hip replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the diseased head of the femur along with the arthritic bone in the acetabulum . The removed head of the femur is replaced with a prosthetic stem and head made of metal parts. A prosthetic metallic shell is placed in the acetabulum and a high-grade plastic liner is placed inside the shell.

X-ray showing a total hip replacement with a contralateral arthritic joint.

The incision of the skin and various tissues to reach the joint is closed in layers after the surgery. The body sends in thousands of cells to heal the incisions and the tissues cut/separated during the surgery known as inflammation.

The influx of these cells also brings in the fluid that builds up in the tissues causing swelling. The swelling is especially prominent in the leg due to the effect of gravity. The swelling is gradually drained by the veins in the body that transport the blood from the tissues back to the heart.

Instruments used in total hip replacement.

Reduce Swelling After Hip Replacement Surgery


After hip replacement surgery, you may experience moderate to severe swelling for the first few weeks, followed by mild to moderate swelling for 3 to 6 months. Apply ice packs or cold compress to the joint in order to reduce swelling on a regular basis. It is also common to ice the joint twice as much as usual to allow blood to return to the joint. Exercise, elevation, and stocking help to keep the foot from swelling down.

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Sudden Leg Swelling: When To Worry And When To Wait

Leg swelling can be caused by a variety of factors, and it can vary depending on where it occurs and how severe it is. If you notice sudden swelling of one or both legs, you should seek medical attention right away so that a blood clot or other serious condition can be identified. Its important to keep an eye on your symptoms and consult a doctor if they persist or worsen swelling can be caused by an injury, infection, or other medical condition.

How Long Does Pain And Stiffness Last After Hip Replacement

Tendonitis and bursitis are common conditions after hip replacement, especially in the early stages of healing. It is common for these conditions to resolve by taking pain medications, treating inflammation with anti-inflammatory medications, and performing physical therapy.

During hip replacement surgery, artificial parts are used to replace the damaged sections of your hip joint. During a hip replacement procedure, you can experience some pain in the short term. How much discomfort you will experience following surgery is unknown. You will be referred to a doctor who will determine if you require a prescription pain killer. Following hip replacement surgery, you should be able to go home in about three days. To help you stabilize your movement, crutches or a cane are commonly used during this time. A full recovery takes approximately one year.

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If Youve Recently Undergone Hip Replacement Surgery You May Be Noticing Some Swelling Around The Hip And Are Worrying About This

Hips dont stay swollen as long as knee replacements, begins Barbara Bergin, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon at and co-founder of Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates.

Dr. Bergin explains, Knee replacements stay swollen for almost a year! Hips, because they are deeper, dont stay that swollen, but some swelling might be normal for a few months.

If swelling suddenly increases and is associated with some reddening around the incision, this might be a sign of infection, and a patient should seek consultation with their doc asap.

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Hip Replacement Surgery Icing

How to Reduce Leg Swelling After Knee Surgery – By a Physical Therapist

There are a few things to keep in mind when icing after hip replacement surgery. It is important to ice for 20 minutes at a time, and to do this several times a day. You should also elevate your leg when possible to reduce swelling. Ice packs or frozen peas wrapped in a towel work well. Be sure to avoid direct contact with the skin to prevent frostbite.

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Swollen Ankle After Anterior Hip Surgery

I had surgery 7 days ago. My swelling has been minimal. I have been walking and doing exercises. I have been applying ice and keeping my feet above my heart when not moving.

Yesterday, during a friends visit, I sat in a regular chair for 2.5 hours. After the visit my surgical leg and ankle were very swollen. After icing and elevating in the evening and overnight, the swelling did decrease some.

However, after doing just a little activity today, my ankle balloons up again. I am elevating and icing but the ankle is very slow to respond.

Is this normal? Should I avoid activity while it is swollen? Thank you in advance.

Swelling is normal after major surgery, and one week is very early days in recovery. UNLESS you develop a hot, painful or red area, which may be a sign of a blood clot, you can do some self-care and see if it resolves. If this develops call the doctor immediately or go to the ER.

From my own experience in hip replacements the tendency is to “feel pretty good” and slack off on icing & elevation. I know that most literature recommends icing “20 minutes, 3-4 times a day.” Here is my personal experience if you ice pretty much full time, whenever seated or lying down, for the first month, you will not see the swelling. Also, especially for the first month, whenever you sit for more than a few minutes your leg should be elevated.

If the swelling doesn’t go away in a couple days of doing the elevation & icing, call your doc.

When To See A Doctor After Hip Replacement Surgery

I had hip replacement surgery a few years ago. How should I contact the doctor? Following surgery, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. This is to check on your prognosis and ensure that no other issues arise. Furthermore, we may perform an MRI following surgery in order to help us understand your recovery.

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How Soon Will The Pain Go Away

The pain you may have experienced before the operation should go immediately. You can expect to feel some pain as a result of the operation itself, but this will not last for long.

Youll be offered pain relief medicines every few hours. Its a good idea to take these medicines regularly during the first 48 to 72 hours.

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Think About Less Common Causes Of Leg Swelling After Surgery

Pin on health uses.

Less obvious reasons for leg swelling after surgery are also considered. For instance, a blood clot in the lungs, pulmonary embolism, can cause right heart strain. Leg swelling may be one of the presenting signs. Also, never forget to look at the medication list. Sometimes certain medications are stopped before surgery. If a diuretic was stopped, then swelling can be a result of that. Other times medications are added after surgery. Remember that some common medications can cause edema.

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Shin And Knee Pain After Hip Replacement

Shin pain after a hip replacement can result in changes to your leg length that cause you to walk differently.

In this case, you may compensate for the change in leg length by reducing how much pressure you put on the front of your foot when you take a step. This can weaken your calf muscles and cause your heel bone to hit the ground too hard as it takes more force when you step.

Over time, this change in your walk can cause pain and injury to your shin often called

that happen alongside knee pain after a hip replacement can include:

  • infections around the surgical site
  • components in the replaced hip coming loose
  • inflammation in the tissue around your hip
  • rubbing of your hip components on surrounding tendons

How To Deal With Swelling After Hip Replacement Surgery

It is not uncommon for patients to experience swelling after hip replacement surgery. This is because the body is trying to heal the incision site and repair the damaged tissue. The swelling can last for several weeks and may even cause some discomfort. However, it is important to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. If the swelling does not go down after a few weeks, you should consult your doctor.

When tissues undergo surgery, they are subjected to trauma, which causes swelling following hip replacement. When a patient has excessive swelling, this could mean an infection or a deep vein thrombosis. As swelling decreases, the veins in the body that transport blood from the tissues to the heart begin to drain it. If the swelling following prosthetic joint surgery occurs, it is possible that the infection or deep vein thrombosis is spreading. The compression stockings tighten the tissues, allowing fluids to return to the body. To reduce swelling, it is advised that patients exercise on a regular basis, such as by wearing ankle pumps. Calf muscles and quadricep muscles, for example, contract more during exercise, allowing for better circulation.

Ice machine will remain in use for approximately two weeks. When youre sleeping, make sure you dont use the ice machine. It will allow you to go for a walk three to four times per day with your new hip.

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How Do I Manage Pain And Discomfort After Joint Replacement Surgery

Try to take your pain medication as soon as you begin to feel pain. Don’t wait until the pain becomes severe. Follow the instructions on the prescription label. Remember to take your pain medication before activity and bedtime.

If you need to have stitches or staples removed and you’re still taking pain medications, be sure to have a friend or family member drive you to your appointment.

Pain medication may cause nausea. If this happens, decrease the amount you are taking or stop and contact your surgeons office.

If you need additional pain medication, please contact your surgeons office. Give at least a few days advance notice before you run out of the medication. Please plan ahead, especially for holiday weekends.

Also remember:

  • You aren’t permitted to drive a car while taking narcotic pain medication.
  • It may take several days to have a bowel movement. Anesthesia and pain medication often cause constipation. Drink plenty of fluids and eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A stool softener or laxative can help bowel function return to normal.
  • Don’t hesitate to call your surgeons office with any questions or concerns.

Incision care

Walker, crutches, cane

Use your assistive devices for balance as instructed by your surgeon or therapist. By your first post-op visit with your surgeon, you may have already improved and changed from using a walker or crutches to a cane .

How Soon Will I Be Up And About

Swollen Legs, Is That Normal After Surgery?

The staff will help you to get up and walk as quickly as possible after surgery. If youve had minimally invasive surgery or are on an enhanced recovery programme, you may be able to walk on the same day as your operation.

Initially, youll feel discomfort while walking and exercising, and your legs and feet may be swollen.

A physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help strengthen your hip and explain what should and should not be done after the operation. Theyll teach you how to bend and sit to avoid damaging your new hip.

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Knee Pain After Hip Replacement Causes

The main cause of knee pain after a hip replacement is the change in the length of your leg.

Before a hip replacement, your leg may have shortened in length due to a reduction or erosion in hip cartilage and bone mass in your hip joints socket and in the head of your femoral bone, which inserts into your hip socket.

Knee pain may happen due to the new components of your hip that have been placed in the area around your hip joint, including a:

  • new socket made of metal
  • new ball made of ceramic or metal that replaces the head of your femur bone
  • lining within the socket that helps the ball of your joint move smoothly
  • rod made of metal that steadies the thighbone connected to the ball

After a hip replacement, you may still walk the way you did before the hip replacement for some time. This can cause your knee to experience extra pressure when you step down and hit the ground with more force while you adjust to your new gait, resulting in pain and inflammation.

A 2020 study also suggests that you might experience some pain in the opposite knee after a total hip replacement because you might walk differently to accommodate your new hip. This study showed no significant knee pain in the leg affected by the hip replacement, but a much more noticeable risk of pain in the opposite knee.

Water Retention After Hip Replacement Surgery

Water retention is a common side effect after hip replacement surgery. This is because the body is trying to heal and repair the area where the hip was replaced. The body does this by sending extra fluid to the area, which can cause swelling. There are a few things you can do to help reduce the swelling, such as: -Elevate the affected leg

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The Benefits Of A Knee Replacement

The surgery is very dangerous and has a lot of risks, but it is also one of the most life-saving procedures. There are far fewer risks associated with a knee replacement, and the majority of patients live much longer after the procedure than if they had not. However, it is critical to remember that a knee replacement will not cure arthritis and that the joint may eventually wear out.

How Will It Affect My Sex Life

Abscess / pus/ infection

If you were finding sex difficult before because of pain, you may find that having the operation gives your sex life a boost. Your surgeon can advise when it’s OK to have sex again.

As long as you’re careful, you should be able to have sex after 6 to 8 weeks. Avoid vigorous sex and more extreme positions.

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Walking After Hip Replacement Surgery

Most likely, you will be up and walking the day after your surgery. Take it slow and dont push yourself beyond what you can handle. Getting up and active following surgery is vital to speeding up your recovery after a hip replacement. Try to exercise for 20-30 minutes at a time. The first day that might just mean getting out of bed and to the hallway. Dont feel discouraged by this!

Moving around will not only speed up your recovery but will also increase the circulation to your legs and feet which will reduce your chance of getting a blood clot. Blood clots are a serious risk following all types of surgery but can be prevented by early movement and exercise.

Getting out of bed will also help to maintain and increase your muscle strength while preventing your new hip from getting stiff. Youll want to take full advantage of that new level of hip movement. Dont forget that getting out of bed and being able to walk with a walker or cane is one of the goals you need to accomplish before going home from the hospital.

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