Care after Hip Arthroscopy
At your preoperative visit, a hip arthroscopy handout will be given to you to explain your surgery. You will be given a cooling unit and crutches. It is important to remember to bring your cooling unit and crutches to the hospital the day of your surgery.
You will go home the same day that you have surgery. You should try to rest as much as you can and elevate your legs. This will help reduce any pain and swelling that you are having in your hip. You may notice some swelling in your hip for a few days after surgery. The swelling may go down your leg past your knee. If the swelling worsens, decrease your activities slightly. There may be some bruising in your pelvic area. You may also have some mild to moderate cramping in the thigh muscles for the first few days. This is normal, and will go away. You may feel numb in your thigh. This will also go away in a few days.
- You will use crutches after surgery. The crutches will be used for a few weeks. This will depend on how much pain you are having.
- Your activity will be as you can tolerate.
- Physical Therapy will start in 1-2 weeks. You will be told how to do hip and leg exercises. It is important to do these exercises at home.
- You should not drive until you have full use of your right leg. Do not drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicines.
- You can go back to work when your doctor feels you are ready. This will depend on what your job is. You should talk with your doctor at your first clinic visit after surgery.
Most people can bear as much weight as is comfortable right away, and most will be on their crutches for 1-2 weeks until their coordination is back to normal. However, certain procedures may require patients to be partial or non-weight bearing on crutches for up to four weeks. You will receive specific instructions on how much weight you can put on your leg when you are sent home from the hospital.
- Your incisions will be covered with a dressing and ace wrap. You can take the ace wrap and dressing off 48 hours after surgery.
- When the dressing is off you can shower. Cover the incisions with plastic wrap, Glad® Press-n-Seal or waterproof band-aids while showering. This will keep the area dry. If using plastic wrap, tape the edges down. This will keep water from getting under the plastic wrap.
- You should not do any water sports, bathing, hot tub or swimming for 14 days. Your doctor will tell you when it is alright to do so.
- After showering, cover the incisions with clean band-aids or dressings. Do not use any creams or ointments on the incisions.
The ice unit will be used for pain relief and swelling. You can run the ice unit continuous the first night after surgery. The next day use the ice unit on 45 minutes to one hour and off one to two hours between. Make sure the ice unit is off for 8 hours each day.
- Prescriptions for pain medicines will be given to you before surgery.
- Go to your pharmacy and get these medicines before you have surgery.
- Do not take these pain medicines until after your surgery.
- These medicines will help you feel better, but may not take away all of your pain.
- You may also be given an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, to help with the pain and swelling. You may take these daily for the first week. After a week, they should be taken only as needed.
- Do not drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicine.
Call your doctor or clinic if
- Your incision becomes red, feels warm or has foul smelling drainage.
- You have a temperature over 100.5°F for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.
- You have a lot of bleeding that is not controlled by direct pressure.
- Your foot or leg becomes pale, blue or cool to touch.
- You have pain and/or swelling behind the knee or in the calf area.
Your doctor will see you at the Sports Medicine Clinic 10-14 days after surgery.
Sports Medicine Clinic - (608) 263-8850 Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 p.m
Evenings and weekends call (608) 262-0486. This will give you the paging operator. Ask for the Orthopedic Resident on call. Please give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call back shortly.
If you live out of the area, please call: 1-800-323-8942
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 12/08/2011
Copyright © 12/08/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6031
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