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This Health Fact will tell you how to care for yourself at home after hip arthroscopy.

Going Home

You will go home the day of surgery. Rest and elevate your legs. This will help reduce any pain and swelling.

You may have some swelling in your hip or down your leg past your knee for a few days. If the swelling gets worse, decrease your activities.

You may have bruising in your pelvic area. You may also have some cramping in the thigh muscles for the first few days. This is normal and will go away. Any numbness in your thigh or groin should go away in a few days to a few weeks.

You will use crutches after surgery. Even if you can step and place weight on your leg, you should still use the crutches until you see your physical therapist. The physical therapist will tell you when you can stop using them.

Most people will use crutches for 1-2 weeks. Other patients may need crutches for up to four weeks. You will be told how much weight you can put on your leg when you go home.
You will start physical therapy 5-7 days after surgery. You will learn hip and leg exercises you can do at home.

No driving until you have full use of your right leg. No driving until you have been off your narcotic pain medicine for 24 hours.

You and your doctor will decide when you can return to work.

Incision Care

Your incisions will be covered with a dressing. You can take the dressing off 48 hours after surgery.

You can shower once the dressing is off. Cover the incisions with plastic wrap, Glad® Press-n-Seal or waterproof band-aids. This will keep the area dry. If using plastic wrap, tape the edges down. This will keep water from getting under the plastic wrap. After you shower, cover the incisions with clean band-aids or dressings. Do not use any creams or ointments on the incisions.

No soaking in a bathtub or swimming pool for at least 2 weeks. No swimming in hot tubs, lakes, or ponds for at least 4 weeks.

You can apply ice to your incisions after surgery. Place a towel over your skin and apply the ice over top. Do not ice more than 20 minutes at a time, with an hour break in between. Try to ice often for the first 72 hours.

Follow Up Visit

You will have a follow up visit at one of the sports medicine clinics in 10-14 days. Your stitches will be removed at that visit.


You may get a prescription for narcotic pain medicine before surgery. Please get this filled before surgery to use after surgery. The goal is to help you manage your pain, not make you pain-free.

You may also get an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as naproxen or indomethacin to help with pain and swelling. You will take these for six weeks after surgery.

When to Call

  • Redness, warmth or foul-smelling drainage from the incision site.

  • Fever over 100.5°F for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.

  • Bleeding that is not controlled by direct pressure.

  • Foot or leg becomes pale, blue or cool to touch.

  • You have pain and/or swelling behind the knee or in the calf area.

Who to Call

Sports Medicine

Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm


After hours your call will be sent to the paging operator. Ask for the orthopedic resident on call. Leave your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you.
The toll-free number is 1-800-323-8942.