How will my pain be managed after hip replacement surgery?

When you have the surgery, you will receive anesthesia that will work on your whole body in addition to local anesthetic that will work around the hip itself. Sometimes, the anesthesiologists will put in an epidural, which works similarly to epidurals during labor and delivery. The epidural allows the anesthesiologist to put medications into the epidural space, where the nerves that travel down the legs are located. These strategies will help with the pain after the surgery as well.

Once you are out of the operating room and in the regular hospital wards, you will most likely receive IV medications (medications that are injected into the blood) to control your pain. Sometimes, patients get patient-controlled analgesia (a "PCA"). This has an IV connected to a box with pain medication. When you press the button, you receive a dose of pain medication.

Once you are able to eat and drink, you will switch from IV to oral medications.

You will also probably use methods for pain control that do not involve pills, such as ice (to decrease swelling).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.