How to Sleep After Hip Replacement

by Jsantos, August 31, 2013

How to Sleep After Hip Replacement

Like we stated before, after you have undergone hip replacement surgery, there are certain things you need to do in order to protect yourself from complications. If you follow your surgeon”s orders, you can ensure a smooth recovery. One thing that you must be very careful about is how you sleep.

Since your hip will be at risk of dislocating for a time after the procedure, you need to take extra care with sleeping positions. For several weeks after your surgery, be sure to sleep in the proper position and always get clearance from your surgeon before you try any other position.

On Your Back

If you like to sleep on your back, then you can easily do so as long as you follow a few precautions:

  • Keep your legs slightly apart.
  • Do not turn the affected leg outward or inward. Keep toes pointed straight to the ceiling.
  • Do not cross your knees or ankles.
  • Do not bend your affected leg under the other.

The most important rule to remember when it comes to sleeping on your back after knee replacement is keeping your leg from twisting. If you do allow it to twist or turn, then this could put too much pressure on the new joint. Always keep your legs straight and never tuck one leg under the other.

On Your Side

There are extremely important rules you need to follow before you sleep on your side. For the most part, it is acceptable, but you absolutely must ensure you are taking proper care of your hip and leg.

  • Never sleep on the affected hip.
  • Always sleep with something between your knees when on your side. This can include a knee immobilizer, a pillow, or an abduction pillow.
  • Never bend your leg higher than the other.
  • Do not let the affected leg ankle rest on the bed in front or behind the other leg.
  • Do not cross your ankles or knees.

It”s important to keep both of your legs parallel with each other to ensure the affected hip doesn’t have undue pressure on it. The Ortho Info site for the AAOS states “Be sure to use a pillow for at least six weeks, or until your doctor says you can do without it.” You may wish to discuss with your doctor different options for keeping the leg propped up in the right manner.

On Your Stomach

If your surgeon gives you clearance, then you can sleep on your stomach, but as with anything else, you do need to take the right precautions. Sleeping on the stomach will be most comfortable for those who don”t want to change their sleep position that much.

  • Do not bend or twist the affected leg.
  • Do not cross your ankles or knees.
  • Keep both legs even and as straight as possible.

If you choose to sleep on your stomach, it”s imperative that you do not bend or twist your affected leg. This will put too much pressure on the new joint and could cause dislocation.

You need to take proper care of your hip after surgery for a few different reasons. To begin with, you can speed up recovery and ensure you don”t have any delays. Additionally, you can avoid painful complications like dislocation.

Because sleeping positions can put stress on your very new joint, you need to make sure you get clearance from your surgeon about how you lay in the bed. If you prefer to sleep on your back or stomach, then you just need to follow a few simple rules about not twisting or turning the affected leg. Sleeping on your side can be the most risky of the positions, but if you take the proper care, you can do so without putting your hip at risk.





Surgeon’s Advice | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201  Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119


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