How to sleep after a hip prosthesis?

How to sleep after a hip prosthesis?

Sleep is an important part of the healing process after any major surgery. However, one of the most common complaints is how to sleep after hip replacement. 

Whether you're unable to sleep in the position you're used to or you wake up in pain, the problem is likely contributing to restless nights. Also, for several weeks after your surgery, you will need to take extra care when lying down to avoid a dislocation.


How to sleep after a hip replacement while managing the pain

After your surgery, your doctor will establish a pain management plan. Appropriate pain management protocols, such as narcotics and anti-inflammatories, can help inhibit the pain and discomfort experienced after this operation. You will need to follow the plan prescribed by your doctor for several weeks after surgery. It will help you sleep and go a long way towards your recovery.


Getting in and out of bed to sleep with a hip prosthesis

To ensure you don't cause further injury to your hip, be careful when getting in and out of bed. To get into bed safely, you will need to:

  • Use your walking aid and step back until you feel your bed behind you.
  • Sit on the edge of your bed while extending the leg that received the hip replacement.
  • Support yourself using your arms and walk through your lower back.
  • Put one leg at a time on the bed.
  • Get into a safe sleeping position.


When you're ready to get out of bed, do the following:

  • Remove all sheets and pillows.
  • Bend the leg that did not receive the hip replacement and use your elbows for support.
  • Slide your bottom until you are close to the edge of the bed.
  • Using your elbows and hands, raise yourself up from a semi-recumbent position.
  • Gently slide your hips and legs over the edge of your bed and rock your body to sit up.
  • Extend the affected leg and use your stronger leg to support yourself when standing.



The best sleeping positions after a total hip replacement

The best position to sleep after a total hip replacement is on your back with a pillow between your legs. You can also sleep on your non-operative side with two pillows lined up between your legs. When you sleep on your back, make sure you don't cross your ankles or legs. When sleeping on your side, avoid bending your knees.




Here are some other tips to ensure you get a good night's sleep:

  • Use pillows between your knees, making sure one supports your foot if you're lying on your side.
  • Avoid putting pillows under your knees while you sleep.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Sleep on a mattress or a firm bed.
  • Change position if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Avoid turning or twisting the leg or toes inward in any way.
  • Don't cross your legs or your ankles.


How long before I can sleep normally?

It is best to avoid sleeping on the affected side during at least six weeks. After your doctor gives you the go-ahead, listen to your body and only lie on your operating side when you feel comfortable.

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