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After hip replacement, what all should be done?

Q: My mother had right hip replacement 3 years ago and she was alright. Recently fractured her left leg due to her being overweight. She was operated upon by an orthopaedic surgeon in Bangalore and a steel rod was fixed. She has no problem in walking. The main problem is that she is not able to sleep on both the sides. In the hospital she was sleeping on a waterbed. Thinking this would help, we bought a water bed but still she gets pain on both sides of her buttocks. Both the buttocks have too much flesh. She is really suffering from lack of sleep. The doctor has prescribed a pain killer but it is of no use. He says try to sleep. She is taking physiotherapy also daily. Please advise what could be the cause of the pain in the buttocks? When she sleeps on a water bed it gives her relief for some time but again the pain starts. She has been sleeping sitting on the chair so far. This causes one more problem. Both the legs swells. She walks with the walker with the bending position and her buttocks are protruding more. Please advise immediately what is it all due to and what sort of medicines we must take?

A:I can understand the concern you have for your mother but these things take time. I feel she has not been regular with her physiotherapy. 1. Please inform your doctor about the swelling on the legs. A pair of stockings should help her. Also try and keep her leg elevated while she is lying or sitting. 2. Help her to lie with the pillows between her legs on the operated side(replacement). 3. She will have to do back, knee and hip exercises with the physiotherapist. 4. Gradual supportive standing and walking with a walker will have to be done. 5. Postural Correction exercises are a must. No forward bending is to be done while standing and walking. 6. She should avoid sitting for long till she can stand and walk correctly. 7. Always see to it that she moves to the edge of the chair or bed to get up. 8. Since she is in such a lot of pain now, try and make her do the exercises at regular intervals 3 to 4 times a day. 9. Later she can do weight bearing on alternate leg and balancing exercises. 10. She can take the same pain killers she used to. 11. Eventually, weight reduction is a must for her. I feel she should come around in a week’s time. Just be firm with her.

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