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THR: Elevation & Icing for Pain & Swelling

Discussion in 'Post-surgery information (hips)' started by bottomshollow, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. bottomshollow

    bottomshollow Moderator

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    Elevation & Icing for THR Pain & Swelling

    Swelling, heat, and pain around the incision are common after a hip replacement operation. The ankle may also swell on the operated leg. This is the normal process for healing and can last for several weeks to months depending on factors such as obesity, diabetes, poor circulation, weak muscles, varicose veins, heart disease, high activity, and swelling before surgery.

    Deep aches and swelling in the hip can continue for a long time because bone, which is living tissue, continues to re-form and adapt around the implants. This increased internal metabolic activity can lead to persistent soreness and swelling after heavy activity, which will disappear with time.

    Elevating the operated leg above heart level (toes above nose) during the day and at night along with icing with gel packs will reduce both pain and swelling.

    These two types of wedges may be used for elevation or several pillows arranged like a wedge.
    compressionhose.jpg comfortstore_2217_394721874.gif

    Ice is an astoundingly effective treatment for pain and swelling. Ice initially constricts local blood vessels and decreases tissue temperature. It also decreases inflammation and pain, speeds nutrients to the area, promotes healing, and decreases swelling, tissue damage, and muscles spasms. Ice gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

    There is no such thing as too much elevating and icing. In the first few weeks after surgery, this should be a primary activity along with taking pain medicines on a schedule, doing ankle pumps, and taking short walks to and from the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

    Later, with less severe pain, ice may be used on its own without medication. THR patients may use gel packs which may be kept in the freezer. Remember to protect your skin from freezer burn.

    These are examples of gel packs that may be used for icing or you may make your own.
    Ice to control pain and swelling

    21PH3P9V65L._AA115_.jpg 140.jpg
     
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