Common symptoms after surgery


It’s common to have a low-grade fever after surgery. Call our office if your fever is greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start-up stiffness is a feeling of pain and stiffness in the knee when you first wake up in the morning, or after you have been sitting for some time. The pain and stiffness gets better every week, but can last up to four months after surgery.


It is not uncommon to have water retention and swelling after surgery. Often it is at its worst between 5-10 days after surgery. A compression stocking, if ordered by your surgeon, should be worn, especially if you have swelling to your lower legs. Treatment to reduce swelling after surgery is elevation. Your foot needs to be higher than your knee, and your knee higher than your heart.

Hip Replacement

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While in bed, use two pillows between your legs, and turn on your side with your operative hip up.

Knee Replacement

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While lying in bed or on the couch use 1-2 pillows to elevate your leg.

Redness or drainage

Occasionally you will have redness around the incision. That should continue to improve. You can occasionally have clear drainage. That should continue to decrease.


Caused by narcotic pain medication, inactivity, dehydration, and less food, constipation is a common problem after orthopedic surgery. Click here for guidelines for constipation prevention and management.

Call our office at 541-382-3344 if you have ANY of the following:­

  1. Any calf pain or inside thigh pain or swelling that does not decrease with elevation
  2. Redness or drainage doesn’t decrease
  3. Temperature of 101.5 degrees or higher
  4. If no bowel movement within 72 hours OR if feeling uncomfortable, nauseated, or vomiting

Your primary care doctor should be called for non-orthopedic medical conditions such as diabetes, or heart and lung conditions.