How to Sleep After Total Hip Replacement Surgery


Sleep is an important part of the healing process after any major surgery. However, one of the most common complaints we hear after someone has a total hip replacement is about difficulty or trouble sleeping. Whether you’re unable to sleep in the position you’re used to or you wake up with pain, the issue likely contributes to restless nights. Also, for several weeks after your surgery, you’ll need to take extra precautions when you go to bed to avoid dislocation.

To ensure you get some crucial shut-eye, in this post, we’ll discuss some tips on how to sleep after you’ve had total hip replacement surgery.

Follow Your Pain Management Plan

Before you’re discharged after your surgery, your doctor will lay out a pain management plan. Appropriate pain management protocols, such as narcotic medications and anti-inflammatories, can help inhibit pain and discomfort experienced after total hip replacement. You’ll need to follow your doctor’s prescribed plan for several weeks after surgery. Doing so will help you sleep along with contributing greatly to your recovery.

Getting in Bed After Hip Replacement

To ensure you don’t cause further injury to your hip, be careful when you’re getting into and out of bed. To safely get in bed, you’ll need to:

  • Use your walking aid and back up until you feel your bed behind you.
  • Sit on the edge of your bed while extending the leg which received the hip replacement.
  • Support yourself using your arms and scoot your bottom back.
  • Bring one leg at a time up onto the bed.
  • Position yourself in a safe sleeping position.

Getting Out of Bed After Hip Replacement

When you’re ready to get out of bed, follow these steps:

  • Remove all sheets and pillows.
  • Bend the leg that didn’t receive the hip replacement, and use your elbows to support yourself.
  • Slide your bottom until you’re near the edge of the bed.
  • Using your elbows and hands, push yourself up from a semi-lying position.
  • Gently slide your hips and legs over to the edge of your bed and swing your body around to sit up.
  • Extend the affected leg, and use your stronger leg for support as you stand.

Best Sleeping Positions After Total Hip Replacement

The best position to sleep in after total hip replacement is on your back with a pillow between your legs. You can also sleep on your non-operative side with two pillows lined between your legs. When you’re sleeping on your back, make sure you don’t cross your ankles or legs. When you’re sleeping on your side, avoid bending your knees.

Here are a few other tips to ensure you have a safe night’s rest:

  • Use pillows between your knees, ensuring that one is supporting your foot if you’re lying on your side.
  • Avoid putting pillows under your knees as you sleep.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress or bed.
  • Change positions if you become uncomfortable.
  • Avoid turning or twisting your leg or toes inward in any way.
  • Do not cross your legs or ankles.

How Long Until You Can Sleep Normally?

It’s best to avoid sleeping on your affected side for at least six weeks. After your doctor gives you the go-ahead, listen to your body, and only lie on your operative side when you feel comfortable.

Contact OrthoBethesda to Learn More About Total Hip Replacement

If you’d like to find out more about total hip replacement surgery in the Bethesda, Maryland area, we invite you to contact OrthoBethesda today to schedule an appointment. You can also call us at (301) 530-1010.

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