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Optimal Resting Positions After Hip Replacement Surgery: Sitting Or Lying Down

Optimal Resting Positions After Hip Replacement Surgery: Sitting Or Lying Down

Dr Dan Albright hip replacement surgeryHip replacement surgery is a life-changing procedure aimed at alleviating pain and improving mobility for individuals suffering from severe hip joint damage. However, the journey to full recovery extends beyond the operating room. Patients must navigate the postoperative period with care, including decisions regarding resting positions. The question often arises: Is sitting or lying down better after hip replacement surgery? In this article, Dr. Dan Albright, MD, an esteemed orthopedic surgeon, delves into the nuances of each option to provide patients with informed guidance for their recovery.

Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery

Hip replacement surgery (total hip arthroplasty) replaces the damaged hip joint with a prosthetic implant. While the procedure offers significant relief from pain and restores functionality, the recovery process is multifaceted, requiring attention to various aspects, including resting positions.

Sleep Position

Sleep posture is a critical consideration during the postoperative phase. Orthopedic specialists typically advise patients to avoid sleeping on their operated side for several weeks or months following surgery, depending on individual circumstances. Instead, patients are encouraged to sleep on their back or non-operated side, using support pillows to maintain correct alignment and reduce pressure on the healing hip joint.

Sitting Position

Both sitting and lying down present unique advantages and considerations in the context of postoperative recovery. When it comes to sitting, patients must prioritize maintaining correct posture to minimize stress on the hip joint. Utilizing chairs with adequate lumbar support and refraining from prolonged periods of sitting can help mitigate pressure on the hip and promote healthy blood circulation. Conversely, lying down offers greater relaxation and optimal weight distribution, potentially reducing postoperative discomfort. Patients are advised to use supportive pillows or cushions to maintain alignment while lying down, thus preventing excessive strain on the healing hip joint. Elevating the legs slightly with pillows can further aid in reducing swelling and improving circulation.


Achieving a balance between sitting and lying down each day is crucial to prevent stiffness and promote circulation. Regular movement and adherence to prescribed exercises recommended by the healthcare team are essential for preventing blood clots and enhancing flexibility without compromising the healing process of the hip joint.

Activity Levels

Furthermore, patients must heed their surgeon's advice regarding activity levels and restrictions during the initial phase of recovery. Gradually increasing activity levels under medical supervision can aid in rebuilding strength and mobility while minimizing the risk of complications. Beyond the immediate postoperative period, patients should prioritize proper resting positions as part of their ongoing recovery regimen. This includes being mindful of posture during daily activities such as sitting at work or relaxing at home. Investing in ergonomic furniture and supportive aids can facilitate comfortable and conducive resting environments, enhancing the overall recovery experience.

The decision between sitting and lying down after hip replacement surgery is multifaceted and depends on individual circumstances. Both positions offer unique benefits and considerations for promoting healing and reducing discomfort. By maintaining proper posture, incorporating supportive aids, and following medical advice, patients can optimize their recovery and regain mobility with confidence. For further insights into postoperative care and recovery strategies following hip replacement surgery, patients are encouraged to consult with their orthopedic surgeon.

Orthopedic Surgeon

Are you considering hip replacement surgery? Dr. Dan Albright, MD, can help. He is committed to providing comprehensive care and guidance to his patients throughout their recovery journey, ensuring a smooth transition to restored mobility and improved quality of life. Contact us today at 919-863-6808 to schedule an appointment.

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