Peripheral edema post hip replacement

  1. This might be a stupid question coming from a nurse but I'll ask anyway.
    Any of you Ortho nurses know how normal or abnormal it is to have signifcant swelling of feet and ankles(both) 61/2 weeks post total hip replacement. The replacement was my R hip and I have as much or more swelling of my L foot and ankle as my R. It is dependent and is gone in the am. It is pitting but only about 1-2+. No pain, redness or warmth that could indicate DVT. Just a feeling of stiffness.
    I'm only 47 and I'm am up and around alot more now then a couple of weeks ago. It started 2 days ago. It obviously happens when I'm sitting too long and improves with elevation, but I never had this prior to surgery. I would appreciate any info before I decide whether to call the doc or just wait it out to see if it goes away.
    Thanks in advance.
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    About kaycee

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 1,898; Likes: 37


  3. by   Youda
    As you know, there isn't any good way to determine what's causing it without going to the doctor. Could be lymphatic or vascular circulation problem or cardiac. You say this started 2 days ago when the surgery was 6 1/2 weeks ago? If I understood your post, this makes it a little more urgent to get to the doc. Another thing, you say it is bilateral. Was your surgery on both hips? If not, then it tends to rule-out the surgery as a cause. But, I've seen bilat. edema after surgery on one side before (but the edema certainly subsided by week 6!). I'm not an ortho nurse, but this sounds like a trip to the doc.
  4. by   P_RN
    I AM an ortho nurse. Call the doctor. Six weeks is too long to watch and wait.
  5. by   aus nurse
    QUOTE]before I decide whether to call the doc or just wait it out to see if it goes away. [/QUOTE]

    Kaycee hun we nurses are the WORST at getting attention aren't we...yep I say call the doc too....too many reasons for pitting oedema to ignore so get it checked out.

    Positive healing thoughts your way ((((((kaycee))))))))