Updated on March 6, 2023
Sleep is a crucial element of a healthy lifestyle especially when you’re recovering from an injury or any sort of surgery. But the surgeries like hip, leg, and back bring you into a troubling situation when it comes to proper sleep. Patients are unable to sleep in their comfortable position due to hip replacement surgery and spend consecutive nights in pain which results in the worsening of their situation mentally as well as physically. For that reason, I decided to answer how to sleep after hip replacement or hip surgery!
How To Sleep After Hip Replacement
There are some sleeping positions that one should follow while others should be avoided for a quick recovery. The positions that you should follow up on after hip replacement surgery include sleeping on a firm and stable mattress, using a comfy pillow or cushion between the knees to resist the crossing of legs in the middle of your body (surgical area), and changing the sleeping posture when you feel uncomfortable.
With the flip of a coin, there are some positions that a patient with a hip replacement should avoid: please never try to sleep on your stomach after the surgery. Secondly, do not place pillows beneath your knees while sleeping. Don’t worry! I’ll explain the sleeping positions in detail:
The first posture is sleeping at your back, which is considered one of the best postures for sleeping after hip replacement surgery. This is because sleeping on your back resists the legs from colliding or disturbing the injury area by keeping them in place. In simple words, there will be no flopping on the left or right because when you move your leg in any direction, the hip rotates, and this way there is a serious risk that your ball-and-socket joint might pop out or result in intense pain.
Thus, you should keep your legs jet straight and avoid movement as much as you can to maintain an ideal sleeping position after the hip replacement surgery. Once you have attained that posture, there is the possibility that you feel tired or stretched out over time. In this case, it is recommended to use pillows, preferably three. Place one beneath your head, one flat pillow for supporting your body, and the last one to separate your legs and prevent their movement.
In addition, when following this approach, it is important that your hip is in an accurate position at the start. Therefore, consider the angle of the hip and body and be in the right position. In my suggestion, please discuss the posture with your surgeon or orthopedic specialist to avoid any risks, injuries, or pain. Once you’re technically in the right posture and you don’t feel any extra pain, it’s time to position yourself at your back as we discussed above. You can also lift your legs a bit if needed.
The second most convenient and better sleeping position for patients with hip replacement is sleeping on the side. Many people generally find sleeping on the side more comfortable and more relaxing than sleeping on the back, and luckily this posture is good after hip surgery unless you’ve maintained the positioning rightly. To be honest, side positioning is riskier as it can result in dislocation of your hip joint, but if you follow the posture in the right way, there is no more comfortable position.
Before you start positioning yourself on the bed, make sure that enough pillows are already there. In the position called sleeping on your side, you need to place a pillow beneath your head, one between your legs, and another one to support your back. the pillow between your legs should be as long as they cover the area from your hip toward the ankle. You’re holding the pillows between your legs to avoid the leg’s movement because it can cause dislocation.
What is the best sleeping position after hip replacement surgery?
“Sleeping at your back” is the best posture for sleeping after hip replacement surgery. This is because sleeping on your back resists the legs from colliding or disturbing the injury area by keeping them in place. In simple words, there will be no flopping on the left or right because when you move your leg in any direction, the hip rotates, and this way there is a serious risk that your ball-and-socket joint might pop out or result in intense pain.
Is sleeping after hip replacement surgery difficult?
Sleeping after hip replacement can be difficult in the start but orthopedic experts have designed some postures after research that will make you sleep comfortably. One of the best sleeping positions is sleeping at your back with a pillow grabbed between your legs.
Are sleeping struggles common after hip replacement?
According to healthcare research agencies, more than 3,00,000 hip surgeries are done every year in the United States and almost 80% of patients face problems during sleep. After the studies and experimental analysis, the orthopedic surgeons claimed that sleeping at your back and side helps in better sleep after hip surgery and avoid the risk of dislocation.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, there is no rocket science; all you need to do is to fix the pillows in between your legs to avoid movement: left, right, forward, and backward. Thus, it is suggested to grab the pillows when you’re sitting on the bed and lay down with the pillows between your legs. That’s all for postures of sleeping after hip replacement. You need to follow the suggested sleeping positions for six to twelve weeks after the hip replacement surgery.