While the risk of infection following hip surgery is relatively low, it's important
to take the possibility seriously. Besides the surgical site itself becoming
infected, it's also possible for infections in another part of the body to spread
to the new prosthesis (sometimes years after the initial operation). Your nurse
will normally review signs and symptoms of infection with you on the second
day after your surgery.
often results in fewer
Notify your orthopaedic surgeon if:
Your incision site has drainage, redness, swelling and/or a foul odor.
You think that you may have an infection. This may include an ingrown toenail,
bladder infection, skin sores, a tooth abscess, etc.
You have increased hip pain at rest or when active.
You undergo a procedure or have a condition through which
bacteria might spread into your bloodstream.
You have a persistent fever above 101 degrees for 2 days.
Your doctor may prescribe specific antibiotics to reduce the occurrence of
infection or the likelihood that it will spread to your prosthesis. If you
are undergoing a surgical procedure and your surgeon plans to use a prophylactic
(preventative) antibiotic for the operation, there's no need to contact your
orthopaedic surgeon. If no antibiotics are scheduled, however, inform your
surgeon that you have an artificial joint prosthesis and that antibiotics
are generally recommended by your orthopaedic surgeon to protect the prosthesis
Blood Clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
Usually by the third day after surgery - right about the time you're most
likely preparing to go home - you'll be placed on an anti-coagulant (blood
thinner) medication to help prevent blood clots from forming. The anti-coagulant
will either be in pill form or given as an injection.
There is bacteria in your body all of the time. Simple procedures, such as
cleaning your teeth, require taking an antibiotic a few days beforehand
Blood clots are the most common complication following hip replacement surgery.
Deep vein thrombosis means that a blood clot has developed, usually in your
calf, totally or partially blocking blood flow. Common initial symptoms include
pain, warmth and swelling in your leg.
What you can do to prevent blood clots:
* Do flex, extend and rotate your ankles at least every hour.
* Do wear your elastic stockings as ordered by your doctor.
* Do take an anti-coagulant medication.
What you should NOT do:
* Do not sit for longer than one hour without moving.
* Do not sit with your hips lower than your knees.
* Do not sit on a chair without arms.
* Do not turn your operated leg inward (pigeon-toe).
* Do not cross your operated leg over your other leg. Keep your thighs apart.
* Do not cross your ankles.
* Do not cross your hips.
Blood clot symptoms:
* Chest pain.
* Shortness of breath.
* Drainage or foul odor from the incision.
* Redness at the incision site.
* Redness, warmth or pain in legs.
* Excessive pain or swelling in the hip, calf or feet.
* Elevated temperature of more than 101ºF.
** NOTIFY your nurse or doctor immediately if you have any of the
All equipment brought into the operating room for
your surgery resides under the supervision of your surgeon. The surgical equipment, as well as the prosthesis
from Wright, is sterilized under the guidelines established by the FDA5.