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What To Expect After Surgery

You may move both legs as soon as you awaken. The nurse will help you find comfortable positions. To protect against blood clots, the nurse may encourage you to do ankle pumping exercises every hour or instruct you to use a con- tinuous passive motion machine. An IV is seldom used for more than 24 hours. You will quickly begin regular fluid and food intake in the hospital under the direction and advice of your surgeon.

You may have a tube or drain coming through the surgical dressing that is attached to a drainage apparatus. This sys- tem provides gentle, continuous suction to remove any blood that may accumulate in the surgical area. The drain will probably be removed soon after surgery. Your dressing will be changed regularly. To prevent problems in your lungs, you may receive a de- vice called an incentive spirometer after surgery to encour- age you to cough and breathe deeply. This is used every hour while you are awake. It is normal to feel discomfort after surgery, and with mod- ern pain management techniques, there is no reason to suf- fer. Inform the nurse of your pain, and medication should be administered.

Improved Patient Recovery

The Anterior Approach is a tissue sparing procedure. It seeks to help patients freely bend their hip and bear full weight soon after surgery. This may result in a faster re- covery. Traditional hip replacement surgery, in contrast, typically requires strict precautions for six to eight weeks. You need to discuss your specific situation with your sur- geon because not all patients are good candidates for the Anterior Approach.

Physical Therapy

Isometric exercises (tightening muscles without moving the joint) will begin while you are still in bed. You will be instructed to do these exercises a number of times per day while awake. You will be encouraged by the physical therapist to move your ankle and other joints so that you will remain strong. You will be taught about joint replace- ment recovery and will soon begin walking and doing ex- ercises. The physical therapist will check your progress daily and keep your surgeon informed. Pain medication


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