Few people like to sleep on their backs. For most of us, the favorite positions are on the side or stomach. However, they are prohibited in the postoperative period after hip arthroplasty. After all, sleeping in these positions can lead to dislocation of the endoprosthesis .

How to sleep after hip replacement so as not to harm a sore limb? We read on.

Safe position of the body in bed

Immediately after the operation, the person should lie on their back with their legs moderately apart. A wedge-shaped pillow is placed between his knees, which prevents his legs from shifting, crossing or turning inward. Note that the pillow should not be placed in the popliteal cavity, as it will interfere with normal blood circulation in the lower extremities.

The next day, the patient continues to lie on his back. It is forbidden to cross and strongly knock down limbs. Until the endoprosthesis takes root, the patient should not  turn the feet more than 30 degrees and bend the limb in the hip joint more than 90 degrees.

A person is forbidden to bring his legs together – to start the operated limb beyond the midline (a line drawn through the center of the spine, which divides the body into right and left halves).



Sleep positions

In the first 2-4 weeks after the operation, it is allowed to sleep only on the back. After this time, with the permission of the attending physician, he can lie on his healthy side. However, while sleeping, a person is advised to place a roller or pillow between their legs. This helps to avoid flattening and excessive turning of the lower limbs.

After returning home, the patient should sleep on a bed with a firm mattress. The lying surface should be comfortable enough, but not too soft. In no case should the mattress collapse, because this will prevent the patient from taking the correct position in bed.

You need to sit on the bed so that the angle of flexion of the legs in the hip joints is more than 90 degrees. And getting out of bed should always start with a healthy limb. Make sure that the foot of the operated leg is not turned inward.

When can I lie down on the operated side and stomach?

A person is allowed to lie down on the operated side and stomach no earlier than a month later. This can be done with the permission of the attending physician.

During sleep, in order to avoid excessive reduction of the legs, the patient is recommended to place a special roller between them. The one is a soft leg brace that fits between the knees. With its help, it is very easy to fix the lower limbs in the desired position.



The roller can be bought in stores and online stores. You need to order it in advance, then, as the patient returns home. After being discharged from the hospital, he will be able to immediately sleep without unnecessary fears.

Why you can’t sleep in forbidden positions

After surgery, the periarticular tissues take time to recover. The ligaments should completely heal, and the muscles should restore strength and contractility. Only then will they be able to support the hip joint with high quality.

Until this happens, there is a high risk of displacement (dislocation) of the components of the endoprosthesis . After all, non-fused ligaments are still too weak to hold the head of the prosthesis in the acetabulum. Consequently, she can easily slip out of there.

This can happen when:

  • abrupt movements of the operated limb;
  • excessive turning of the feet inward (more than 30 degrees);
  • strong flexion of the hip joints when the angle is less than 90 degrees;
  • too early sleep on the stomach and operated side.

In order to prevent dislocation, in the first weeks after the operation it is necessary to sleep only on the back, carefully monitoring the position of the lower limbs. This will help avoid complications and troubles in the future. After all, displacements of the endoprosthesis are difficult to treat and often requires repeated surgical intervention (open reduction).




Let’s summarize:

  1. In the first 2-4 weeks after hip replacement, the patient is allowed to sleep only on his back.
  2. During sleep, it is forbidden to cross and bring your legs together, as well as turn your feet more than 30 degrees. To prevent this, a special roller should be placed between the knees.
  3. It is better to buy a roller for sleeping in advance, before the patient returns home from the hospital. You can buy it in a specialized store.
  4. Lying in bed, the patient should not bend the legs too much in the hip joints. The hip flexion should always be greater than 90 degrees.
  5. You can lie down on a healthy side only two to four weeks after the surgery, and on the operated side and abdomen – only after a month.
  6. Before starting to sleep in new positions, you must obtain permission from your doctor. This can be done during the next scheduled inspection.
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