Post Operative Care
Avoiding Problems After Surgery
Important: if you need to have a dental procedure, endoscopy or any surgery (major or minor) and have a joint replacement we recommend you have Antibiotic cover prior to your procedure to help lower the risk of any infection going to your hip or knee prostheses.The standard Antibiotic regime is Amoxycillin 2g orally 1 hour prior to the procedure.
Recognising the Signs of a Blood Clot
Follow Dr Bhimani's instructions carefully to reduce the risk of blood clots developing during the first several weeks of your recovery. Notify Dr Bhimani immediately if you develop any of the following warning signs. The warning signs of possible blood clot in your leg include:
Pain in your calf and leg that is unrelated to your incision
Tenderness or redness of your calf
New or increasing swelling of your thigh, calf, ankle, or foot
The warning signs that a blood clot has traveled to your lung include:
Sudden shortness of breath
Sudden onset of chest pain
Localized chest pain with coughing
A common cause of infection following surgery is from bacteria that enter the bloodstream during dental procedures, urinary tract infections, or skin infections.
Following surgery, patients with certain risk factors may need to take antibiotics prior to dental work, including dental cleanings, or before any surgical procedure that could allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Dr Bhimani will discuss with you whether taking preventive antibiotics before dental procedures is needed in your situation.
Notify your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following signs of a possible infection:
Persistent fever (higher than 100°F orally)
Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling of the wound
Drainage from the wound
Increasing pain with both activity and rest
A fall during the first few weeks after surgery can damage your new hip or knee and may result in a need for more surgery. Stairs are a particular hazard until your hip is strong and mobile. You should use a cane, crutches, a walker, or handrails or have someone help you until you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength.
Dr Bhimani and physical therapist will help you decide which assistive aides will be required following surgery, and when those aides can safely be discontinued.
To assure proper recovery and prevent dislocation of the prosthesis, you may be asked to take special precautions when sitting, bending, or sleeping — usually for the first 6 weeks after surgery.
These precautions will vary from patient to patient.
Prior to discharge from the hospital, Dr Bhimani and your physical therapist will provide you with any specific precautions you should follow.
The success of your surgery will depend in large measure on how well you follow Dr Bhimani's instructions regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery.
You may have stitches or staples running along your wound or a suture beneath your skin. The stitches or staples will be removed approximately 2 weeks after surgery.
Avoid getting the wound wet until it has thoroughly sealed and dried. You may continue to bandage the wound to prevent irritation from clothing or support stockings.
Some loss of appetite is common for several weeks after surgery. A balanced diet, often with an iron supplement, is important to promote proper tissue healing and restore muscle strength. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Exercise is a critical component of home care, particularly during the first few weeks after surgery. You should be able to resume most normal light activities of daily living within 3 to 6 weeks following surgery. Some discomfort with activity and at night is common for several weeks.
Your activity program should include:
A graduated walking program to slowly increase your mobility, initially in your home and later outside.
Resuming other normal household activities, such as sitting, standing, and climbing stairs.
Specific exercises several times a day to restore movement and strengthen your hip. You probably will be able to perform the exercises without help, but you may have a physical therapist help you at home or in a therapy centre the first few weeks after surgery.
If you have any questions please contact Dr Bhimani via 02 4229 9116.