After Hip Replacement: Managing Your Pain

You will be given oral pain medicine to use once you get home. You may also be told to take over-the-counter medicines that don't need a prescription. You may be told to use these instead of prescription medicines. With pain under control, you’ll be able to get back to an active life sooner. Use pain medicine only as prescribed. Take each dose as advised and before pain becomes severe. Tell your healthcare provider if the medicine doesn’t control your pain enough as it is prescribed, or if you suddenly feel worse. Ask your healthcare provider about possible side effects. These may include:

  • Feeling sleepy

  • Having constipation

  • Nausea

  • Itching or rash

  • Becoming dependent on the medicine after it is no longer needed

Your surgeon may also advise some of these treatments along with medicine for your pain:

  • Relaxation techniques. Examples include journalling, listening to music, or practicing controlled breathing.

  • Ice packs. Apply for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day as directed. Ice should never be placed directly on the skin. Wrap in a towel to prevent frostbite.

  • Massage therapy.

  • Acupuncture.

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (a TENS unit). You should receive instruction on using this unit before surgery.

Often a combination of medicine and other treatments works best.

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