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Hip Fracture Surgery: Recovering at Home

Going home is a big step. To help you prepare, your healthcare team will arrange for any medication, equipment, and services you need. Family and friends can help by doing errands and providing emotional support. You may also need a family member or friend to stay with you for a time.

 Managing PainElderly man walking with cane outside his front door.

You may be prescribed pain medication to use at home. Ask your doctor what your medication does and how long it takes to work. Don’t wait for pain to get bad. Take your medication on time as directed. Be sure to tell your doctor if it doesn’t help ease your pain. Also mention if it causes constipation. This can often be eased by taking over-the-counter stool softners.

 

Walking Helps

Walking a little more each day is the best thing you can do for recovery. Walking helps build strength and ease pain. It also helps keep your hip from getting stiff. Try to make walking part of your daily routine. Start with short walks. Then go a little farther each time. Keep in mind, recovering from a hip fracture takes time. Some days it will be harder to get around than others. But try to stay upbeat. Set simple goals that you can meet. Doing even basic tasks, like checking your mail or going to the grocer’s, can help you feel better.

 

Seeing Your Doctor

Keep follow-up appointments with your doctor. These help make sure you’re healing well. You should also ask your doctor about:

  • When you can bear weight on your hip

  • How long to take any new medications

  • Tests and treatment for osteoporosis

  • When it’s OK to begin driving again

  • Safe positions for sex

  • Taking antibiotics before dental and medical work

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Severe or increasing hip pain

  • A large amount of swelling in the hip or calf

  • Redness or drainage at the incision site

  • A fever over 101°F. (38.3°C)

  • Shortness of breath, or chest pain

Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, John, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 7/27/2013
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