If you’ve recently undergone hip replacement surgery, you may be noticing some swelling around the hip and are worrying about this.
“Hips don’t stay swollen as long as knee replacements,” begins Barbara Bergin, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon at and co-founder of Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates.
Dr. Bergin explains, “Knee replacements stay swollen for almost a year! Hips, because they are deeper, don’t stay that swollen, but some swelling might be normal for a few months.
“If swelling suddenly increases and is associated with some reddening around the incision, this might be a sign of infection, and a patient should seek consultation with their doc asap.”
How about a blood clot?
Joint replacement surgery – be it knee or hip – is a risk factor for a blood clot known as a deep vein thrombosis.
These usually develop in the lower leg and in some cases, cause the noticeable symptoms of pain or cramping, swelling and redness in the affected area.
However, a DVT can also form in the pelvic region. Any kind of swelling, unusual redness or warmth, or pain or cramping, should be examined by your orthopedic surgeon.
A DVT can dislodge from its location of development and rapidly travel to an artery in the lung, cutting off air flow. This can be fatal in minutes.
Benign Swelling After Hip Replacement
“There’s not much you can do about hip swelling,” says Dr. Bergin. “You really can’t elevate the hip like you can the knee.
“If you notice increased swelling at the end of a day, then perhaps take it easy the next day.”
Dr. Bergin is a general orthopedist, surgically and conservatively treating all manner of bone and joint conditions. She enjoys educating patients so they can emerge stronger than they were before their orthopedic injury or surgery.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.