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Recovering in the Hospital - Surgical Guide To Right Posterior Total Hip Replacement (Modified/Pose Avoidance)

A dressing will be applied to your hip. You may also have a thin tube inserted at the surgical site attached to a drain to prevent accumulation of blood around the muscles and bones of the joint. The tube and drain will likely be removed the day after surgery, and the bandage is removed the first or second postsurgical day.

Members of the nursing staff will position you in bed and help you turn until you are able to move on your own. You may have a pillow between your legs if ordered by your surgeon. Because anesthesia may temporarily inhibit urination after surgery, a Foley catheter may be inserted into the bladder to remove urine. This catheter is usually removed within 24 hours.

In collaboration with you and your support system, the Hospital staff, including a physician, physician assistant, nurse, nurse practitioner, physical therapist and social worker will plan, provide and monitor your care.


Gentle exercises to improve your range of motion can help prevent circulation problems as well as strengthen your muscles. Very soon after surgery, a physical therapist will teach and review your exercise program.

Deep Breathing

It is extremely important to perform deep breathing exercises after surgery to rid your airway and lung passages of mucus. Normally, you take deep breaths almost every hour, usually without being aware, whenever you sigh or yawn. When you are in pain or are drowsy from anesthesia or pain medication, your breathing may be shallow. To ensure that you take deep breaths, the nursing staff will provide you with a device called an incentive spirometer, along with instructions on its use.

How to Use the Incentive Spirometer

  1. With the unit in an upright position, place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece and exhale normally.
  2. To achieve a deep and sustained breath, inhale at a rate sufficient to raise the ball in the chamber.
  3. Exhale. After performing the exercise, remove the mouthpiece from your lips.
  4. Relax and breathe normally for a moment after each deep breath.
  5. Repeat this exercise 10 times every hour.
Illustration of a spirometer in use.

Tips for a Successful Recovery at HSS

Physical Therapy

  • Participate in physical therapy (PT) daily.
  • A physical therapy schedule is available by 8:30 am 7 days a week. Ask your nurse when you are scheduled for therapy so you can be prepared and ready to participate.
  • Please note that scheduled PT time is approximate.

Patient Safety and Falls Prevention

  • Do not get in or out of bed by yourself! Always ask for assistance.
  • HSS has developed a Safety and Falls Prevention pamphlet that you should read. If you don’t already have one, ask your therapist for a copy.

Bathroom Privileges

  • Once you are able to tolerate being out of bed for at least 20 minutes, you will be safe to use the bathroom with assistance.
  • If possible, use the bathroom prior to physical therapy so you can use your treatment session to improve functional mobility.
  • Bedside commodes or bedpans are alternatives to getting out of bed to use the bathroom.