Can I Still Feel Pain After Hip Replacement Surgery?
While hip replacement procedure is a pain-corrective process, it can also cause short-term pain around the hip, groin, and thigh region following the surgery. Some amount of pain is associated with any surgery, but the worst subsides after a couple of days.
Guidelines For Recovery & Pain Management After Hip Replacement
Doctors usually advise a minimum of a three day stay in a hospital after a hip replacement procedure. Patients spend 24 hours on bed rest after the surgery while they heal and are allowed to walk on the 2nd day; most of the patients are discharged on 3rd day.
If a patient experiences post-operative hip pain, over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen can be taken for effective pain management. One must not take any medication unless the doctor allows doing so since the doctor is aware of the condition of the patient and knows if the patient requires a potent pain killer and the doses needed for individual patients.
Patients are instructed to follow precautionary measures after hip replacement surgery. These measures should be followed as long as the doctor directs to avoid any future injury to the operated hip. Physiotherapists will instruct a patient on executing routine life movements such as taking a shower on a raised bench and going to the toilet without damaging the operated hip. The patient is advised by physical therapists to perform several exercises aimed at faster recovery after hip replacement surgery.
Patients with physically taxing jobs are not allowed to return to work for a couple of months, while those with desk jobs can return to work after a few weeks. Doctors recommend avoiding driving for a period depending on the patient's condition and which hip was subject to the operation.
Other Causes Of Post-Operative Hip Pain
Occasionally, patients experience hip pain for an extended period even after adherence to the recovery guidelines. These reasons are not associated with hip surgery itself but include:
Bacterial infection: Bacterial infection can cause hip pain and inflammation at the operated site. Antibiotics are given to treat and prevent any future infection.
Hip dislocation: A dislodged hip can cause hip pain and may require subsequent procedures and braces to overcome the pain.
Age-related problems: Rarely, a second hip surgery may be required due to the aging of the parts used in the operated hip. It is less likely to happen now due to recent breakthroughs in surgical procedures and the materials used in hip replacement.
Variation in the length of leg: In some cases, one leg can become longer than the other after the hip replacement. This situation occurs due to variation in the muscles around the hips and can be easily managed by targeted exercises.
Hip fracture: During surgery, hip parts are fixed into place, and there are some chances of fracture to the healthy hip parts. These fractures mostly heal on their own, while some may require metal plates.
Loosening: It is the loosening of the parts used in the hip replacement. It is sporadic nowadays because of the latest techniques and materials preferred by expert surgeons.