What to Expect After Hip Surgery

  • You will have mild bruising and swelling initially (day one) that will start at the surgical site.
  • Bruising and swelling are normal after surgery and vary from one individual to another.
  • Bruising and swelling will continue to increase over the first two weeks after your surgery.
  • Bruising may travel up as high as your groin area and will eventually move down to your toes.
  • Expect swelling in your entire leg including your foot.
  • You will feel very stiff and tight in your surgical leg




R = Rest We want you to be up and moving but do this in moderation. We recommend you rest for the first 5-7 days after surgery. DO NOT OVERDO IT. Increased activity means increased swelling. By decreasing the swelling early you will recover quicker. We recommend small bouts of activity throughout the day. Get up and walk around the house a little bit every hour to hour and a half that you are awake.

I= Ice Ice as much as possible the first week. Ice is a great anti-inflammatory and helps minimize swelling. You may apply ice packs or ice massage over the knee, the quadriceps muscle (muscle located on the front of the thigh), the hamstring muscle (muscle located on the back of the thigh) and the calf. A good ice pack is a frozen bag of veggies.

C= Compress The TED hose compression stockings provide compression and help minimize swelling. Keep the stockings on during the day and take them off at night for the first 3 weeks after your surgery.

E = Elevate Elevating your leg will help reduce swelling. To reduce significant amounts of swelling elevate your leg 4-5 times a day for 15-30 minutes each time. Do this with your ankle above your knee and your knee above your heart. For elevation to be effective, your toes should be above your nose!



You may start using heat to help decrease bruising. Place a hot pack/heating pad over the front and back of the thigh (quadricep and hamstring muscles) and on the calf muscle. Try heat 3 times a day for 20 minutes each time. Using heat will increase your flexibility and make exercising easier.

Alternate the heat and ice. Heat before you stretch/exercise and use ice after activity.

Outpatient Hip and Knee Replacement • www.outpatienthipandknee.com • 1611 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60612 • 312-432-2557