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Your Guide After a Hip Fracture (Breaking a Hip)

Before your surgery

The goal of this information is to help you and your family understand what to expect while you’re in the hospital. Your care is based on your needs.

Have your family bring a list of all the medicines you take at home. You don’t have to bring your own medicine to take while you’re in the hospital. Your healthcare team will give you the medicines you take.

Have your family bring the following items to the hospital:

  • a comb or brush
  • soap and shampoo
  • deodorant
  • shaving supplies
  • a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • loose fitting clothes
  • supportive, non-slip shoes
  • dentures or hearing aids

Don’t bring anything of value at the hospital, such as jewelry and credit cards. It’s a good idea not to have more than $20 with you.

Waiting for surgery

Nurses will help you move into a different position in your bed every 2 hours. As you wait for surgery, you may:

  • get a catheter (tube) put into your bladder to drain your urine
  • use a bedpan when you need to have a bowel movement
  • get help with bathing
  • get medicine to help with pain or discomfort – Please tell your nurse when you’re in pain.
  • not be able to eat or drink before your surgery
  • get fluids and medicine through an intravenous (IV)
  • have blood tests and other tests, like x-rays
  • get a blood thinner with a needle to help prevent blood clots (if your surgery is delayed and doesn’t happen when it’s supposed to)

Exercises to do while you wait for surgery

Do deep breathing and coughing exercises every hour. Take 10 deep breaths then cough strongly. Do the following 3 exercises with your good leg every hour. This keeps your blood moving and helps prevent blood clots.

  • Pump your foot up and down 10 times.
  • With your leg straight, tighten your thigh muscle. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  • Squeeze the muscles of your backside (buttocks) together. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Waiting for your surgery (Being on call)

You may have to wait for your surgery to happen (be on call) if:

  • there are others who also need urgent surgery
  • you’re too sick for surgery
Even if you’ve been on call for a while, your surgery may be delayed. Your healthcare team will do everything they can to make sure you and your family know when you’re going for surgery or if the time for your surgery changes.

When you’re on call, you may not be allowed to eat or drink. If your surgery is delayed, you’ll get something to eat or drink.

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