Hamilton Health Sciences
Hip Replacement Surgery

After Surgery and Hospital Stay

My hospital stay

Your surgery will take about 1 1/2 hours.

After your surgery you are taken to the Post-Anesthetic Care Unit or PACU where you will stay until your blood pressure and pulse are normal (About 1 1/2 hours). If you have pain or feel sick, tell the nurse. From here you will go to the ward.





Meet Your Orthopedic Team

Your team is made up of Physicians, a Clinical Manager, Nurses, Business Clerks, Consultants, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Lab Team, Thrombosis Team, Environmental Aids, and Clinical Specialists.  We work together with you to provide you with a safe recovery.


Once you arrive on the ward, the nurses check your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and temperature). 

You will be encouraged to do as much for yourself as possible. We encourage you and your family to take part in your care.

If you have any cultural or religious practices that may need our help, please let your nurse know.

Your leg may be bruised and swollen, and painful as you move. The nurses will check your dressing and ask you about your pain.

What you need to know?

  • Pain Control-It is normal to have pain after surgery. The pain will be controlled with medications. Members of the health care team will help you with pain relief. The pain will lessen over time as you heal. It is important to have your pain controlled so that you can do your hip exercises and move around.

  • Nausea- You may have an upset stomach or nausea after surgery because of the anesthetic or pain medication.  If you feel unwell or have nausea, tell your nurse. You will be given some medication to help. 

  • Delirium or Acute Confusion- Some people who have had surgery, use pain medication or just being in the hospital may have some confusion after surgery. Delirium often clears in a few days or weeks in many people. Each person is different. Please talk with your health care provider if you notice that your loved one or friend is acting differently, being forgetful or very agitated.

  • Weakness- You may feel tired and dizzy when you get out of bed after surgery. Make sure someone helps you get up until you are safe to move around on your own. Your therapist or nurse will tell you when it is safe for you to walk by yourself.


  • Skin- Healthy skin helps prevent infections. Your dressings and incision (the cut in your hip ) will be checked often while you are in hospital.

Lying in bed puts pressure on your skin and you can get sores. The first signs of this problem are burning, redness or pain. If you have any of these signs on your buttocks, ankles, heels, elbows, shoulders or ears, talk to your nurse or therapist.

The best way to avoid skin problems is to change positions and avoid lying down in bed for long periods of time. The nurses and therapists will remind you to get up and move as much as possible after surgery. It is important to do this when you go home.

  • Urinary problems-You may have trouble urinating or passing water after surgery. If you cannot start or stop passing urine, are urinating often or have burning when passing urine, talk with your nurse.

  • Blood clots-You have an increased risk of forming a blood clot after surgery. It is very important to do your exercises and get up and move as much as you can after surgery to prevent blood clots. Signs of blood clots are redness, swelling, warmth or pain anywhere in either leg. Tell your nurse or therapist right away if you notice any of these signs. The Blood Clot Specialists Team (Thrombosis) team will see you after surgery. They will assess and decide what anti-coagulant or blood thinning medication you will need. Blood thinning medication can be ordered in pill or needle form. You will get a prescription for your blood thinner when you go home, which you will take for about 14 days. 

  • Lung Problems- After surgery your activity will be less than normal. Deep breathing and coughing exercises are important and MUST be done 3-4 times every hour while awake. This will help to prevent mucus from settling in your lungs.

Breathing exercises after surgery-

After surgery, start these exercises when you are lying in bed. It will help you if you can raise the head of your bed a little. Later on, you can do them while sitting in a chair. During the first few days after surgery, do these exercises 3-4 times every hour while you are awake.

Deep breathing and coughing helps to:

  • keep your lungs expanding fully

  • clear mucous from your lungs and throat

  • reduce the chance of getting a chest infection

How to do deep breathing and coughing:

  • Lie down or sit up

  • Put your hands high up on your stomach

  • Breathe in as deeply as you can, You will feel your stomach push out against your hands.

  • Breathe out slowly through an open mouth.

  • Repeat 5 times,

  • then take a deep breathe and make a strong, deep cough. Just clearing your throat is not enough.  


You will have therapy to learn how to:

  • turn and move safely in your bed

  • get in and out of bed safely

  • transfer safely into a chair

  • do exercises to strengthen muscles and improve blood supply to your legs

  • walk correctly using a walker
  • go up and down stairs 

  • prevent injury to your hip or knee


You will have medications for:

  • pain control

  • nausea (feeling sick to your stomach)

  • infection prevention 

  • constipation prevention/treatment 

  • prevention of blood clots

  • your usual medications unless changed by the doctor

DO NOT take any other medications other than ones given by the nurse.

Drinking and Eating

You may slowly start to drink fluids the night of your surgery. The next day you may slowly start to drink and eat more.

Meal Times

Breakfast   7:15 a.m.
Lunch       12:30 p.m.
Supper       5:00 p.m.

Meals served are foods high in protein, calcium and fibre. These foods help with healing and recovery after surgery. Please check with your nurse prior to family/friends bringing in special foods.

Visiting Hours

Family and friends can visit patients at any time as decided by the patient and based on their care needs. Better Together...anytime.

Falls Prevention

Please use your call bell when you need to get out of bed. Your call bell should ALWAYS be within your reach and will alert the nurse that you are in need of something. Your therapist will let you know when you are safe enough to get in and out of bed on your own.

Review the Tips booklet for reducing your risk for falls. This is in your packet of information or can be found here online.

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.