Hip Arthroscopy is usually undertaken making 2 or 3 small stab incisions on the outer part of the hip. These incisions are closed with stitches and steristrips and a waterproof dressing is then placed over the area. Sometimes the wound will be redressed in the day surgery area before being discharged home – particularly if there has been any significant fluid leakage beneath the original dressing. Small amounts of bleeding under the dressing are very common and not a cause for concern. You may shower with this dressing on but don’t immerse in a pool or bath. If a significant amount of moisture accumulates under the dressing it will need to be changed – otherwise leave dressing intact until seen by your surgeon at the post operative visit. Occasionally the dressing will fall off after 8 – 10 days – just keep the area dry or if concerned get your local doctor to redress this for you.
At the end of the procedure local anaesthetic is normally injected into the hip joint to minimise pain post operatively. This will wear off after a few hours and you may need to use ice packs locally and take the painkillers prescribed to you at this stage. These are often required in the first 48 hours or so but this varies from one individual to another. Short lived numbness around the hip, genitals or lower leg is uncommon but if present will usually resolve after a few days.
It is advisable to rest in the first 2 – 3 days quietly at home. Over this period you may get up and weight bear on the operated leg as comfort permits using crutches for short periods. Crutches are usually required for 5 – 7 days and you may fully weight bear after this time if comfortable. Occasionally you will need to protect weight bearing for a longer period – your surgeon will advise you if this is required.
You may move the hip / leg freely provided it is comfortable but avoid hyperflexing the hip, deep squatting or significant twisting of the operated leg in at least the first 2 weeks.
It is not advisable to drive in the first 2 – 3 days after surgery or whilst you are taking pain medication. If you can comfortably operate the accelerator/brake/clutch without pain, you may drive at your discretion.
You may return to work as soon as pain is tolerable. Generally if a job does not require prolonged standing and walking, you may return after about a week. Work of a more physical nature may necessitate a longer absence.
Physiotherapy is not usually recommended until after review by your surgeon at 10 – 14 days.
Follow Up Visit:
This has been made for you at the time of booking your surgery and is detailed on the sheet attached to the booking information you have been sent out.
Your surgeon will advise you if there are any changes to these basic post operative guidelines. Should you have any concerns, consult with your surgeon or general practitioner.