People who are just starting their recovery from surgery usually have a ton of questions—mostly about when they can start returning to normal life. Today’s blog answers some of the most common questions we get from our patients after arthroscopic hip surgery.
If you have any other questions, be sure to call your physical therapist or surgeon! As surgeons, we can confidently say that your doctor is happy to answer all of your questions.
Is it normal to feel nauseous after hip surgery?
Your pain medications probably cause nausea, so it isn’t anything to worry about. Norco or Percocet are both likely to cause a little bit of nausea, as they’re narcotics. If you’re taking Naprosyn to reduce inflammation, then you should be prepared for some nausea.
You can prevent nausea by eating right before taking your medication. If your nausea worsens or you start vomiting, call your surgeon.
What if I fall on my operated leg?
It’s no reason to be concerned; most people feel a little unstable after hip surgery. When you feel yourself falling, you can use your operated leg to catch yourself—just expect to be sore for a little bit. If you’re concerned that you’ve hurt yourself after a fall, call your physical therapist immediately.
When can I shower?
You’ll be able to shower at least 3 days after surgery. Your physical therapist will need to take a look at your bandages and inspect your incision before you take a shower, however.
When can I drive myself around?
If your right hip was repaired (or you drive a stick), you’ll need to find a ride for 3-4 weeks at least. However, if you drive an automatic and your left hip is the one recovering, you can drive a week after your surgery.
When can I go back to work/school?
For desk jobs, we recommend taking 4 weeks off of work. If necessary, you can start working from home 2 weeks after surgery. However, extended periods of sitting will cause you pain (and slow down your recovery), so workaholics beware: you’ll need bedrest.
School is less sitting-intensive, so students can start easing back into attendance 2 weeks post-surgery. You’ll need to attend for half-days at first, then slowly build into full days. We recommend that students have their procedures right before a school break to maximize recovery time.
Can I take a dip in the hot tub during my recovery?
Not for two weeks! You cannot submerge your incision for 2 weeks post-surgery.
Will I be able to sleep on my side?
For the first week of recovery, you’ll likely wear a device that prevents rolling over in your sleep. After that, you can sleep as you like. If sleeping on your side is initially uncomfortable, don’t worry—you’ll get more comfortable day-by-day.
I feel pain on the front of my hip—what do I do?
You’re probably sitting too much (which causes hip flexion). Try to sit forward in your chair if you need to sit down, but we recommend bed rest or standing rather than using a chair. The other possibility? You’re likely not putting enough weight on your foot. Let your foot rest on the ground rather than letting the full weight of your leg hang.
For patients who live in two-story homes, limit the number of trips you make up and down stairs. If pain persists, let your physical therapist know!
When can I go for a jog?
You’ll likely be able to return to running 3 months after surgery. However, your physical therapist will be the one who determines when you’re ready based on your progress in your sessions.
When can I have sex?
As long as your hips are comfortable and you don’t feel any pain, you can resume having sex as soon as you feel up to it.