THR Sleep Issues following THR


new member
Jan 19, 2019
United States United States
I am 11 days post op from a THR anterior surgery and my biggest issue is sleeping. Being a stomach sleeper, I find it very difficult to get comfortable lying on my back as my back hurts.

A home care PT did arrange pillows on my couch that not only raised my legs comfortably but helped alleviate back pain. I got about 5 hours sleep off and on throughout the night but the next night back to 1-2 hours. I no longer have pain and am off pain meds. I have some pain in the buttock that feels like bruising although there is no discoloration.

My leg swelling has almost disappeared except for some in my thigh but I also am dealing with a low grade headache that has been with me almost since surgery. I thought it might be the Norco but I have not taken that for 2 days.

I think I would feel a lot better if I could get some sleep. My hemoglobin dropped from 13 to 9 during surgery so I guess I lost some blood.
Hi, Welcome to BoneSmart and Recovery. Thanks for joining us!
Please leave your surgery date below and which hip was replaced. The info will be applied as your signature.

Sleep deprivation or broken sleep is common during early recovery. Sleep as often as you're able and nap during the day if you have the opportunity. It is difficult to get comfortable initially. It will get better.

Wondering if the headache isn't related to any meds you've taken if it could be a residual effect of the anesthesia. Have you questioned your surgeon or a member of his care team on it? Also, are you drinking enough water. Staying adequately hydrated is beneficial in many ways. Try upping your intake if it's low.

Following are the Recovery Guidelines. Please read the articles thoroughly as I think you'll find them helpful. Stop back often. We'll be here to encourage you along the way.
A great weekend to you!

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
5. Here is a week-by-week guide to

Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each, member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice. @kspach
Same deal on the sleeping, I too side and stomach sleep so it was not comfortable on my back. Time fixed it, as soon as I could roll on my side with a pillow between my legs I slept great. That was the biggest life improvement for me, being able to sleep with no waking from pain.
Time fixed it
So true...
All temporary but very frustrating...
Make sure you stay hydrated and take your meds with food...hard to keep enough on your stomach when you just don't have any appetite...was for me.
I nibbled on grapes and reminded myself to constantly sip on water.
My big hospital sippy cup stayed by my side so I wouldn't have to get up as much or call for hubby's help so often.
Things will get better so keep the faith, new hippy.:console2:
Yep, me too. I had my first good night’s sleep after 16 days, and it made such a difference. I still had bouts of insomnia after that, but I gave up trying to sleep because it only made me worried and miserable, instead I’d distract myself with reading or watching TV till sleep came along. I was lucky there because I have a routine that’s flexible.

Lack of sleep always gives me a headache, that may be the cause of yours.

When desperate, I took the pain meds that caused drowsiness even though I didn’t have pain. I’m just a fellow patient so in no position to give advice, but if you were sleeping better with medication before bedtime, and you haven’t finished your supply, something to consider?

You have had advice about pillow arrangements. I found sometimes a pillow under knees helped, sometimes not. I bought a new pillow for my head specifically labelled as being for sleeping on the back, that helped a lot.

I have sheepskin rug under my heels, absolutely essential in my opinion, heels were sore before.

As everyone says, time will fix it. Now I’m 40 days out, sleeping is fine, in fact I think I may be turning into a back sleeper by preference.
I have some pain in the buttock that feels like bruising although there is no discoloration.
This is post op pain. Take your medication at night to help with the sleeping issues and address this pain. You are only days out of major surgery. Rest, ice, elevate and take your meds. Very early days for you.
I no longer have pain and am off pain meds. I have some pain in the buttock
That's a contradiction! "You no longer have pain" BUT "You have some pain"!
I am 11 days post op from a THR anterior surgery and my biggest issue is sleeping.
Did you read the articles Layla left for you in post #2? specially this one Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

Also I'd really like to offer you some structured advice but in order to do that, I need to ask you some questions. Are you willing for me to do that?
For sleep, I found melatonin helped. Fortunately, I had some in my cabinet. I rarely take it because it leaves me a bit groggy the next day, but I figured for this, it didn't really matter if I was groggy. But it actually did not. I was able to catch up on sleep and felt good. I've taken it twice. If I had remembered it earlier, I probably would have taken it a couple more times early on. Yay, melatonin!
Hi @kspach :wave:

If your sleep hasn't improved here's something to consider -
Magnesium supports the following:
Bone health
Healthy blood sugar
Cardiovascular health
Muscle relaxation and nerves
Promotes healthy sleep (falling asleep and staying asleep)

An article on Magnesium -

Hopefully you're doing well. Wishing you lots of restorative rest / sleep. :yawn: :sleep:

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