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After Hip Surgery
  • You will have mild bruising and swelling after surgery.
  • Bruising and swelling are normal after surgery and vary from one individual to another.
  • Bruising and swelling will continue to increase over the first two weeks after your surgery.
  • Bruising may travel up as high as your groin area and will eventually move down to your toes.
  • Expect swelling in your entire leg including your foot.
  • You will feel very stiff and tight in your surgical leg.
  • You can significantly improve your swelling with rest, ice, compression and elevation.


  • Rest: We want you to be up and moving but do this in moderation. We recommend you rest for the first week after surgery. Exercise is important but don’t overdo it! Increased activity means increased swelling. By decreasing the swelling early, you will recover quicker.
  • Ice: Ice as much as possible the first week. Ice is a great anti-inflammatory and helps minimize swelling. You may apply ice to the covered surgical site a minimum of three times a day for 20 minutes or more per session.
  • Compress: Compression stockings help minimize swelling. Keep the stockings on during the day and take them off at night until your first postoperative visit. At that point we will reassess the need to continue usage.
  • Elevate: Elevating your leg will help reduce swelling. To reduce significant amounts of swelling elevate your leg 3-4 times a day for 30 minutes each time. To be effective your foot must be above the level of your head.
  • USE HEAT: We will discuss using heat at your first postoperative visit. This can help improve blood flow, decrease swelling and improve flexibility. Place a hot pack/heating pad on the areas that are swollen and stiff. Try heat 3 times a day for 20 minutes each time. Alternating heat and ice is a technique often used by physical therapists. Heat before you stretch/exercise and use ice afterwards.

Related Topics

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  •  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Orthoinfo
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery