Recovering from Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Total hip replacement is one of the most successful surgical procedures performed today. Patients who desire relief from hip pain and improved function can return to their lives with minimal interruption. Total hip replacement may be performed as a direct anterior approach or a standard posterior approach. The choice of surgical approach depends on the patient’s anatomy, condition and the surgeon’s experience and preference. At LALL Orthopedics + our surgeons are proficient in both approaches.
The timeline for recovery after total hip replacement surgery varies depending on several factors, including the individual’s overall health, age, and the specific surgical approach used.
During the recovery period, certain lifestyle modifications may be necessary. These may include avoiding high-impact activities, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good nutrition, and following any specific guidelines provided by the surgical team.
What can you expect after total hip replacement surgery?
Typically performed in an outpatient setting, meaning you can go home immediately following the procedure. Physical therapy begins the day after surgery with a therapist who travels to your home for the first 2 weeks. You will be allowed to put as much weight as tolerated on the affected hip.
You will need assistance and support at home. You may experience some pain, swelling and discomfort around the surgical area. You LALL Orthopedics + surgeon may prescribe short-term pain medication to be taken as needed. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding wound care, medication, and physical activity limitations.
You will likely need to use a walking aid such as crutches or a walker to assist with mobility for the first days or weeks.
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in your recovery. A physical therapist sent to your home will guide you through exercises and activities to help improve range of motion in your hip. They may also provide guidance on proper gait and movement patterns to optimize recovery.
You will continue with physical therapy at an outpatient center near your home and gradually increase the intensity and complexity of exercises. You may start weight-bearing exercises and work on strengthening the hip joint and surrounding muscles.
As healing proceeds, patients can perform more activities of daily life independently such as dressing, bathing, and managing household chores. Many patients can resume sedentary work. Your surgeon will determine when you can resume driving, usually by week six.
Physical therapy will progress to include more active exercises aimed at strengthening the hip muscles, improving flexibility, and restoring gait patterns.
By week 6 or sooner you will be able to resume your daily activities and responsibilities. Your surgeon will provide guidelines on when you can gradually reintroduce activities such as driving, working, and participating in recreational or sports activities. It’s important to follow these guidelines and gradually increase your activity level to avoid putting excessive stress on your hip.
While you may be able to resume most activities within a few months, strength and conditioning will continue to improve for an extended period of time.
Physical therapy is focused on functional activities, such as walking, stair climbing, and balance exercises, and returning to light recreational activities like gardening.
Committing to long-term rehabilitation exercises, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and following up with your LALL Orthopedics + surgeon for periodic check-ins will help ensure a successful recovery.
From six months to one year the goal is continuing to enhance strength, endurance and stability, and a gradual return to more demanding exercises and sports, depending on your progress. The pace and intensity of activity progression will be guided by the surgeon and physical therapist to ensure a safe recovery.
It is important to understand that this is a general timeline. Your LALL Orthopedics + surgeon will provide you with a specific timeline based on your individual circumstances.
At a Glance
Ajay C. Lall, MD, MS, FAAOS
- Board Certified – Orthopedic Surgery
- Triple Fellowship Trained
- Performs over 750 Surgeries Per Year
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