Skip to Content

How long should I take painkillers after hip replacement?

The length of time you should take painkillers after hip replacement surgery depends on different factors including overall health condition, the extent of the surgery, and the patient’s tolerance to pain. In most cases, patients require pain relief for up to six weeks after surgery, but severe pain can persist for much longer.

Initially, the surgeon may prescribe strong opioids such as oxycodone or morphine to manage the intense pain experienced in the first few days after surgery. Opioids should only be taken for a short period due to their addictive tendencies and the possibility of side effects such as constipation, dizziness, and nausea.

It is also important to note that, as the patient recovers, the opioid dosage should be progressively decreased.

After the first week, non-opioid painkillers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen may be recommended to manage pain. NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation, which will aid in healing and ease discomfort. While these come with potential side effects such as stomach upset and an increased likelihood of bleeding, they are generally a safe option for reducing pain.

As you become more mobile and manage to move around more, you may no longer need prescription painkillers, and over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, may be sufficient to control your pain. Acetaminophen, aside from reducing pain, can cause a few side effects, such as liver damage, when taken in large doses or over an extended period, so you should ask your surgeon or pharmacist about the appropriate dosage.

Painkillers are an essential aspect of postoperative pain management, and they can allow patients to feel comfortable and get on with their rehabilitation effectively. Although it is recommended to use painkillers as needed, it is important to follow your physician’s advice and monitor yourself for adverse side effects.

So, after a hip replacement, you should take painkillers for as long as your physician recommends, primarily to reduce pain and help in your recovery comfortably, but at the same time, it is important to taper off gradually to avoid dependence and side effects.

Will hip stiffness go away?

Hip stiffness can be a common complaint among individuals and can occur due to various reasons such as overuse of the hip joint, sitting for prolonged periods of time, acute injuries, or chronic conditions such as arthritis, among others. The severity and persistence of hip stiffness can differ from person to person depending on the underlying cause and the individual’s overall health status.

Most people experience a temporary stiffness or discomfort in their hips after engaging in intense physical activities or after sitting for prolonged periods. This type of hip stiffness usually goes away with some simple stretches, rest, or movement. However, if the stiffness persists for an extended period, it may suggest underlying issues or chronic conditions that require medical attention.

Acute injuries or sprains can also cause hip stiffness, and the discomfort typically fades away within a few days to a week or two with proper rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, in some cases, the injury may be severe and require more extended recovery periods or medical intervention such as surgery.

Chronic conditions such as arthritis can also cause prolonged hip stiffness, and the severity and extent of stiffness may increase over time. However, there are several treatments available that can help manage the symptoms of arthritis, including physiotherapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. By following these measures, an individual can lead an active life and control the progression of arthritis to a great extent.

Therefore, hip stiffness can go away or be managed depending on the underlying cause and the level of intervention adopted by the individual. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and early medical interventions can help prevent the onset of hip stiffness and alleviate the symptoms in the event of an injury or chronic condition.

How do you loosen stiff joints after surgery?

After surgery, it is common for joints to become stiff and immobile due to prolonged immobilization or decreased use during the recovery period. However, it is important to loosen stiff joints to regain range of motion and prevent future complications.

Below are some strategies to help loosen stiff joints after surgery:

1. Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can create a rehabilitation plan including gentle exercises and stretches to reduce joint stiffness. Physical therapy may also include the use of heat or cold therapy to reduce pain, inflammation and improve motion.

2. Massage Therapy: A massage therapist can help loosen stiff joints by manipulating the muscles around the affected area. Massage therapy can also help reduce swelling and pain while improving circulation and promoting relaxation.

3. Range of Motion Exercises: Simple range of motion exercises can be done at home under the guidance of a physical therapist. For example, gently stretching and flexing the joint can help to prevent the stiffness from getting worse.

4. Prolonged or Continuous Passive Motion (CPM): Prolonged or continuous passive motion involves the use of a machine and a brace that keeps the joint moving in a controlled manner. This method helps to prevent scar tissue formation and reduce the risk of re-injury.

5. Medications: over-the-counter medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce inflammation and joint pain. Your doctor may prescribe stronger medications to manage severe pain.

It is important to consult with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercises or therapy program to ensure safety and effectiveness. Post-operative care is crucial in regaining optimal motion and function of the affected joint. Regular physical therapy, exercises, and other rehabilitation strategies can help you recover faster and prevent complications.

What helps stiff muscles after surgery?

Stiff muscles after surgery can be quite challenging and can hinder your recovery process. Surgery can lead to stiffness in the muscles that are involved in the surgical procedure and surrounding muscles that were not directly touched during surgery.

There are several ways to help relieve stiff muscles after surgery. One of the most promising and effective is physical therapy. A physical therapist can work with you to design a rehabilitation plan specifically tailored to your needs. This plan will likely include exercises and stretches that focus on the muscles that were impacted by surgery.

Another way to help relieve stiff muscles after surgery is to stay active. Although you may feel like you need to rest and avoid movement after surgery, this can actually make your muscles stiffer. By engaging in light exercise and movement, you can help your muscles stay flexible and improve your range of motion.

Medications like muscle relaxants and pain relievers can also help ease the discomfort of stiff muscles after surgery. These medications should only be taken under the guidance of your doctor to avoid any adverse side effects.

Heat therapy can also help to alleviate muscle stiffness after surgery. Applying heat to the affected area can increase blood flow and promote healing. You can use a heating pad or take a warm bath to relax your muscles.

Massage therapy is another useful technique for treating stiff muscles after surgery. A massage therapist can target specific muscles to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation, thus reducing stiffness.

Stiff muscles after surgery can be alleviated through physical therapy, light exercise, medication, heat therapy, and massage therapy. It’s essential to speak with your doctor before engaging in any of these therapies to ensure a safe and effective recovery. Additionally, be patient, as it can take time for stiff muscles to heal after surgery.

How long after surgery should I stop pain meds?

The length of time one should stop taking pain medication after surgery can vary depending on various factors such as the type of surgery they had, the severity of the pain, the individual’s tolerance to pain medication, and any other pre-existing medical conditions.

Generally, it is recommended to take pain medications only as long as they are necessary to manage the pain. Most patients are likely to experience the most intense pain in the first few days after surgery, and over time, the pain is expected to gradually reduce as the body heals.

If the pain persists for more than several days, it is essential to consult with a doctor to assess the situation and determine the need for continued medication. Generally, doctors recommend monitoring the pain and gradually reducing the medication dosage as the pain diminishes.

It is important to note that abruptly stopping pain medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms and other adverse effects. For this reason, it is crucial to follow the doctor’s prescription and gradually decrease the dosage and frequency of pain medication as advised.

It is also important to consider alternative strategies to relieve pain such as heat therapy, cold therapy, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques, to name a few. These alternatives may help mitigate discomfort and enhance the healing process.

Stopping pain medication after surgery requires careful consideration of various factors such as the type of surgery, severity of pain, individual pain tolerance, and any pre-existing medical conditions. It is recommended to consult with a physician to determine the need for continued medication, monitor the pain, gradually reduce the dosage, and explore alternative pain management techniques.


  1. Pain relief after hip replacement surgery – Allina Health
  2. Timeline for Hip Replacement Layton – Joshua M Hickman MD
  3. Hip Replacement Home Instructions – Tidewater Orthopaedics
  4. Pain Control after Joint Replacement
  5. Pain management after discharge – Orthopaedics WA