How long can an incision from hip replacement surgery leak clear fluid?

My 88 year old Mom broke her hip last week and they had to replace most of it. She is in a physical therapy hospital to get moving around again. The only thing is that the incision keeps leaking quite a bit.

Has anyone else had this problem and how long did it last?

It should mostly stop after the first week to 10 days…and if the glue is being used, even less than that. There may be some small drainage for those first couple weeks, but nothing that should require the bandage to be changed more than once a day after the first few days..

A recent patient of mine came to outpatient therapy two weeks after his surgery and the hip was draining rather significantly. We sent him to the surgeon right away, the fluid was aspirated and he had to be "resealed" with the glue again. He did have a mild infection which had to be drained and treated with antibiotics and eventually he had to have it stapled shut.

If they are having to change the bandage more than once a day after 7-10 days, I’d recommend the surgeon follow up with her.

4 thoughts on “How long can an incision from hip replacement surgery leak clear fluid?

  1. It varies with different ages & their physical condition before & after surgery. Some may leak for several days & others maybe a few weeks. If your really concerned call her doctor & talk with him about it
    References :

  2. My experience – not with this exact problem, but with surgeries in general (my husband has had 30) is that IF we overdo it, it seems to elongate the time frame.

    Or there can be another problem present. But that is rare.

    I would start by checking to see if increased activity increased the leaking. If there seems to be a connection, you might want to check with the doctor to see if the extra movement is advisable, or if less mobility is needed for better healing.

    By this I mean, on the days that she does not have therapy, does it seem to be at the same level?

    I’m not advocating no movement, because that has its own problems.

    Just a thought.
    References :

  3. I’ve had both hips replaced and I remember leakage for as long as 2 weeks. The staples were removed at 2 weeks as soon as the leakage stopped. The staples were replaced by "steri-strips" which stay on til they fall off. If she is concerned, have her bring it to the nurse’s attention. They will probably tell her that it’s normal (and it is).
    References :

  4. It should mostly stop after the first week to 10 days…and if the glue is being used, even less than that. There may be some small drainage for those first couple weeks, but nothing that should require the bandage to be changed more than once a day after the first few days..

    A recent patient of mine came to outpatient therapy two weeks after his surgery and the hip was draining rather significantly. We sent him to the surgeon right away, the fluid was aspirated and he had to be "resealed" with the glue again. He did have a mild infection which had to be drained and treated with antibiotics and eventually he had to have it stapled shut.

    If they are having to change the bandage more than once a day after 7-10 days, I’d recommend the surgeon follow up with her.
    References :
    I am a PT

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