Post Operative Instructions For Hip Graft / Cleft Repair

Post Operative Instructions For Hip Graft / Cleft Repair

Hip grafting at BC Children’s Hospital is usually scheduled on a Friday for Dr. Reichman’s patients. The surgery can take from 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours. Plan on a one night stay in the hospital. One parent is welcome to stay in the hospital room with their child. Dr. Reichman will check on your child on Saturday morning. If all is well, they will be discharged home that morning.


Cleft repair is done entirely in the mouth with dissolvable stitches. Diet begins with clear fluids until the patient is cleaning well. This may require some assistance from the parent. Once cleaning is proficient, they can progress to soft, mushy foods. Avoid biting with the front teeth. Adequate nutrition and fluid intake is important. Total fluid intake should be over 1 1/2 litres every 24 hours.

It is very important to keep the mouth as clean as possible. The patient should be brushing their teeth at least 3 times a day with toothpaste. This should be done slowly and carefully but thoroughly. You will not damage anything inside the mouth by brushing.

Minor bleeding from the mouth or nose may be present for the first 3-4 days. It should not be excessive. If it causes concern, please call our office.

Rinse the mouth with salt water after every oral intake. Salt water can be mixed by adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. Dr. Reichman will also prescribe a mouth rinse called Peridex. Rinse with Peridex three times a day, after other oral care (brushing and rinsing with salt water) is done.

It is normal for swelling to get worse over the first 3-4 days following surgery. Swelling is minimized by icing on the affected sides for the first 72 hours. Keeping the head elevated with pillows will help as well.


Leave the hip dressing dry and in place for one week after surgery. After one week, the patient may take a shower and take the dressing off. Some spotting or bleeding through the dressing is common. If this happens and then stops, don’t be concerned. If the dressing stays wet call Dr. Reichman.

There are no limitations on activity after bone grafting. Activity is encouraged right away with comfort being the only restriction. Keep the hip moving with walking. Children may need assistance with this.