Which ward will I be admitted to?

6A is our elective orthopaedic ward however, it may be that you stay on a different ward during your stay. This will always be confirmed with you and you can be reassured that all your needs will continue to be met.

What time should I arrive on the ward?

Generally you will be asked to come in for 7am on the morning of your surgery however, in some circumstances this may change. You will be told in advance what time you should arrive.

Why is my leg marked prior to surgery?

Your consultant may perform multiple operations each day and the washable arrow is merely confirmation that they are operating on the correct leg.

How long will my operation last?

Times vary but on average your operation will last approximately two hours.

Should I bring my own painkillers to hospital?

You should not bring your own medications in to the hospital but do inform the medical staff of any regular medications that you do take.

Does positional advice mean I have free movement and can return to normal physical movement as soon as pain allows?

While positional advice does afford you more freedom of movement after your operation, you should always be cautious when bending, twisting and crossing your legs. If you do attempt to bend down to your feet, movement should be slow and you should avoid twisting. Crossing the legs is not good for circulation anyway so this should be avoided. These particular movements should not be done to the excess.

Which side of the bed should I get in/out from?

It is advisable to lead out of bed with the operated leg and lead in to bed with non-operated leg. This is for your comfort and to reduce the risk of your new hip being put in an awkward position. You should always listen to your body and you shouldn’t ignore discomfort.

Why might I not be able to get out of bed the day after surgery?

Early mobilisation is strongly encouraged however, low blood pressure; low oxygen levels and dizziness/nausea can often restrict patients the first day after surgery.

Will I be given a walking aid to go home with?

You will be provided with either a pair of sticks or a pair of crutches for discharge. In rare circumstances, you may also be provided with a wheeled walking frame.

I don’t have stairs at home but is it worth practising them anyway?

Have a think about properties you may be visiting in the coming months; are there stairs? If so, it’s worth having a practise under supervision.

When will I be allowed to walk alone on the ward?

Once the physiotherapy team are happy that you are safe mobilising alone and at very low risk of falling, you will be encouraged to mobilise as often as possible and without direct supervision.

When should I start doing the exercises and how long for?

It is advisable to begin exercising in the weeks leading up to your operation and to continue with them for several months after surgery. Exercises will strengthen the muscles around your hip joint and give you the best possible outcome.

I have my own crutches/sticks, can I bring these with me?

Yes, if you have a pair that you find comfortable to use. We will always check that your aids are suitable to be used first and may provide new aids if yours is not fit for purpose.

Please label any mobility or dressing aids that you bring in to the hospital.

Do I keep all equipment that is provided by the hospital?

Mobility aids and raised equipment are provided to you on a temporary loan basis only and they should be returned once they are no longer required.

My partner had a hip replacement and needed all furniture to be raised; why is it not essential that furniture is raised for me?

Furniture heights are assessed on an individual basis based on the patients’ lower leg measurement. Therefore if you are shorter than your partner, this will likely be the reason why furniture does not need to be raised for you.

Can I use the bath after my operation?

It is not advisable to sit in a bath for three months after your hip replacement. However, if you are asked to follow positional advice then you will be able to get in to a bath and shower in standing. It is advisable to sit on the edge of the bath and lift your legs over the side.

How soon can I use the shower after my operation?

Your wound dressing is water resistant therefore you are allowed to use the shower as soon as you feel physically able to do so. You shouldn’t, however directly soak the wound area.

Can you provide me with a shower stool?

Unfortunately, we are unable to issue shower stools. They can however, be purchased from many high street and online retailers.

It is important to note that perching stools should not be used in a shower.

What is the most comfortable way to lower myself down in to sitting?

It is recommended that you use an armchair for at least the first few weeks after your surgery as you then benefit from having solid arms both sides. It is also advisable to step your operated leg out in front slightly as you lower to take pressure off of the hip.

My only toilet is upstairs, is this an issue?

Not necessarily as you will be shown how to manage the stairs during your admission. If you have concerns about getting to the toilet in time or have a condition that means you experience frequency/urgency, discuss this with the occupational therapy team as they may be able to supply a commode for downstairs use (subject to criteria).

I have no immediate family; who can help me with shopping and housework?

You should plan for this prior to admission to hospital and ensure that your home is well stocked with food. Certain charities and voluntary organisations may be able to support with food shopping and you should contact them directly to discuss your needs.

Generally, these types of organisations do not offer support with housework therefore you should seek private help. See the Useful Contacts sheet for further information.

Will I be able to carry things?

You should not carry items while you are using mobility aids as this increases the risk of losing your balance.

Further advice regarding transporting meals etc. can be given by the occupational therapy team and helpful aids such as a kitchen trolley may be supplied if required (subject to criteria).

How do I reach down to my feet after surgery?

Dressing aids are extremely beneficial after hip surgery. They enable individuals to maintain their independence whilst avoiding uncomfortable bending/twisting.

When can I return to driving?

You should not drive for six weeks after hip replacement surgery. After this time, you should be cautious and only return to driving if you are confident that your pain is well controlled and you could perform an emergency stop if required.

I drive an automatic car, can I drive straight away?

This will depend on which leg has been operated on and your consultant’s advice.

Will transport be provided to take me home?

Hospital transport will not be provided (unless under exceptional circumstances) and you should arrange for a friend or family member to collect you from hospital. Voluntary services and taxis should also be considered to assist with transport.

What things might delay my discharge?

The most common reasons for a delayed discharge are:

Leaking wound site

Low blood pressure

Awaiting post-operative x-ray

Equipment

Whilst medical reasons are beyond anybody’s control, please help avoid equipment delays by providing your furniture heights when they are requested.

Do you provide respite stays?

Yeovil Hospital does not fund or arrange respite stays following an admission. If you have concerns about returning straight home after surgery then you should make arrangements for this prior to admission.

Will I receive regular physiotherapy after my surgery?

We do not provide routine rehabilitation following surgery unless there is a clinical need (assessed on an individual basis).

You should continue completing your exercises once home and aim to increase your walking distance every day.

You will be provided with a follow up appointment to take place approximately three weeks after surgery.

What does my follow up appointment involve and how long does the appointment last?

You will have a wound check; exercises will be reviewed and progressed if needed; your gait pattern will be assessed and stairs may also be reviewed. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions and it will be determined whether further physiotherapy follow up is required.

The appointment lasts approximately twenty minutes and generally you are discharged at this time to continue with your rehabilitation at home.