Problem passing urine and stool after a total hip replacement

Posted by lotsofpain @lotsofpain, Jan 6 11:04am

In 2020 I had a total right sided hip replacement. During the operation and for 36 or so hours afterwards I had a catheter inserted. When it was removed I had great difficulty for several days in passing urine. Similarly I was horrendously constipated for several days post surgery needing a lot of laxatives. I am due to have total left sided hip replacement at the end of next week . Has anyone got any top tips about how I can avoid a repeat of last years problems

@lotsofpain I haven't had a hip replacement yet but I'm sure others like @sueinmn may have some suggestions and tips to help with the problem passing urine and constipation. What's helped me a lot with constipation issues is drinking more water during the day and making sure I get enough fiber in my diet. Here's some information I found that may be helpful.

Embarrassing questions after hip replacement surgery: https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2020/02/11/17/31/questions-after-hip-replacement

It would be a great question for your surgeon or care team. Have you discussed your recovery issues from the first hip replacement with your surgeon?

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I can sympathize, here is what I know.
The urinary issue is linked directly to the catheterization. The sooner you can get it removed the better – as soon as you can use a commode, ask to have it taken out. Long use causes internal swelling, and can cause UT infection.

As for the constipation, it is usually related to the use of pain meds. You should be given a stool softener at least twice a day, continue to use it until you completely stop any opioids. Try to manage your pain as soon as possible with alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen instead. Do this along with John's advice regarding water, high fiber diet (or a fiber supplement) and moving around. Also, stay out of bed/recliner and sit up so gravity can help.

Moving hourly or more often will also improve your hip mobility and healing. Moving increases the blood supply to the hip and moves fluids that are the byproduct of the healing process. Even a walk around the room helps, as does standing with support like a walker and moving the leg.

Finally, don't forget my mantra "Ice! Ice! Ice!" The ice should be used often for several weeks after surgery. If you don't already have them, invest in at least 3 large icepacks and alternate them – far more likely to use than leaky ice bags. We have some about 12"x15" with a fleecy cover – can be placed right over light clothing without messing with wrapping in a towel, etc.
Good luck!
Sue

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@sueinmn

I can sympathize, here is what I know.
The urinary issue is linked directly to the catheterization. The sooner you can get it removed the better – as soon as you can use a commode, ask to have it taken out. Long use causes internal swelling, and can cause UT infection.

As for the constipation, it is usually related to the use of pain meds. You should be given a stool softener at least twice a day, continue to use it until you completely stop any opioids. Try to manage your pain as soon as possible with alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen instead. Do this along with John's advice regarding water, high fiber diet (or a fiber supplement) and moving around. Also, stay out of bed/recliner and sit up so gravity can help.

Moving hourly or more often will also improve your hip mobility and healing. Moving increases the blood supply to the hip and moves fluids that are the byproduct of the healing process. Even a walk around the room helps, as does standing with support like a walker and moving the leg.

Finally, don't forget my mantra "Ice! Ice! Ice!" The ice should be used often for several weeks after surgery. If you don't already have them, invest in at least 3 large icepacks and alternate them – far more likely to use than leaky ice bags. We have some about 12"x15" with a fleecy cover – can be placed right over light clothing without messing with wrapping in a towel, etc.
Good luck!
Sue

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I don't,know where you are at, but being a nurse practitioner, all hospitals here in NC issue a polar type ice machine that has a pad on it to place on your hip/ knee/shoulder replacement. I would ask surgeon or ask at preop appt before spending money on ice packs. Plus the pads weigh nothing so they cause pressure on your already painful joint. All insurances pay for this standard joint replacement medical equipmemt

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Thank you i am in the Uk i cant unagine the NHS providing rhat but i can ask.i can see how that would help with pain but how would it help with bowel constipation and insbility to wee

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@lotsofpain

Thank you i am in the Uk i cant unagine the NHS providing rhat but i can ask.i can see how that would help with pain but how would it help with bowel constipation and insbility to wee

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No, ice won't help with that. You have to use other mitigation strategies like liquids, stool softeners, getting off opioids and moving… But if you use ice to manage the pain and swelling, it is much easier to do those things.
Sue

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@melboy68

I don't,know where you are at, but being a nurse practitioner, all hospitals here in NC issue a polar type ice machine that has a pad on it to place on your hip/ knee/shoulder replacement. I would ask surgeon or ask at preop appt before spending money on ice packs. Plus the pads weigh nothing so they cause pressure on your already painful joint. All insurances pay for this standard joint replacement medical equipmemt

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Yes – I had one for knee surgery, but my insurance didn't cover for hips – my husband jerry-rigged my old one to work on my hips the first time, but then it broke and insurance wouldn't cover a replacement or rental – I was disappointed.
Sue

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@sueinmn

No, ice won't help with that. You have to use other mitigation strategies like liquids, stool softeners, getting off opioids and moving… But if you use ice to manage the pain and swelling, it is much easier to do those things.
Sue

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Okay thank you

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