Hip Fracture Surgery: Recovering at Home

Going home is a big step. To help you prepare, your healthcare team will arrange for any medicine, equipment, and services you need. Family and friends can help by doing errands and providing emotional support. You may also need a family member or friend to stay with you for a time.

Managing pain

Elderly man walking with cane outside his front door.

You will likely be prescribed pain medicine to use at home. Ask your healthcare provider what your medicine does and how long it takes to work. Don’t wait for the pain to get bad. Take your medicine on time as directed. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if it doesn’t help ease your pain. Also mention if it causes constipation. This can often be eased by taking over-the-counter stool softeners.

Walking helps

Walking a little more each day is the best thing you can do for your recovery. Walking helps build strength and ease pain. It also helps keep your hip from getting stiff. Try to make walking part of your daily routine. Start with short walks. Then go a little farther each time. Keep in mind, recovering from a hip fracture takes time. Some days it will be harder to get around than others. But try to stay upbeat. Set simple goals that you can meet. Doing even basic tasks, like checking your mail or going to the food store, can help you feel better.

Seeing your healthcare provider

Keep follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider. These help make sure you’re healing well. You should also ask your healthcare provider about:

  • When you can bear weight on your hip

  • How long to take any new medicine

  • Tests and treatment for osteoporosis

  • When it’s OK to begin driving again

  • Safe positions for sex

  • Taking antibiotics before dental and medical work

Call 911

Call 911 right away if you have any of these:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

When to call your healthcare provider 

Call your surgeon or healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Hip pain gets worse

  • Pain or swelling in your calf or leg not related to your cut (incision)

  • Soreness or redness in your calf

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Swelling or redness at the incision site gets worse

  • Fluid draining from the incision