The amount of pain experienced by patients undergoing total hip replacement surgery varies, but the procedure is painful for less time than a knee replacement. Adjustment of hip musculature to the artificial joint can cause painful stiffening of muscles.
After total hip replacement, patients typically experience less pain walking immediately. Patient perception of pain varies, but postoperative pain is typically relatively less than the often unbearable, chronic pain that precipitated the joint replacement. Patients are able to walk soon after surgery, and discomfort improves gradually through the healing process. After a day or two in the hospital, the patient's mobility is adequate and the pain is managed, allowing the patient to be discharged. At about six to eight weeks postoperatively, patients are able to fully bear weight without pain or the use of assistive devices. While it is possible that the hip musculature never adjusts to a prosthetic joint and chronic pain continues, it is rare.
Pain management after total hip replacement is important to an effective recovery. Managing discomfort allows patients to participate actively in the physical therapy exercises that facilitate the recovery of their functional status. Pain experienced acts as a stressor, eliciting the stress response. In a stressed state, wound healing is delayed