- Understanding your recovery timeline for your hip replacement surgery will give you a picture of what to expect so you can maintain morale and confidence throughout the process.
- During the recovery process, patients should expect to incorporate light exercise, prioritize wound care, and stay in contact with their surgeon.
- After a few weeks, you can begin to slowly return to your normal daily activities, depending on the advice of your surgeon.
- Everyone is different, so your recovery timeline will largely depend on the advice provided by your doctor and surgical care team.
Hip replacement surgery is a procedure that replaces diseased parts of the hip joint with new, artificial parts to address the underlying causes of pain and improve mobility. Surgery is usually recommended for people who have tried other methods, like physical therapy or medications, and have not experienced relief. Although surgery is often a great source of relief for those experiencing unwavering hip pain, it’s not instant, and ensuring the best possible outcome requires a meticulous recovery process.
Understanding your hip replacement surgery recovery time will help you manage your expectations and stick to your post-operative plan so you can enjoy a smoother recovery while remaining patient and confident in a positive outcome. Knowing what surgical timelines look like can be helpful for getting an idea of what to expect and when you’ll be able to return to activity, but there is no such thing as an exact timeline since everybody is different and every case is unique.
Day of Surgery
The recovery process starts from the moment that your hip replacement surgery is complete. As soon as the anesthetic wears off from your procedure, a physical therapist will start to work with you to get you back on your feet. The therapist will guide you through movements like sitting up, standing, and slowly walking with the support of a walker or cane.
Walking shortly after your procedure helps to prevent the joint from getting stiff and encourages blood flow to the area. Light exercise like walking is important throughout the recovery process for strengthening the muscles and improving mobility in and around the joint. The physical therapist will also provide you with a list of exercises to use throughout your recovery.
With options for minimally invasive and advanced surgical methods, many doctors are able to allow patients to go home the same day. However, returning home the same day is not always the case, as it depends on the patient and how their body responds to surgery.
Recovering at Home
Thanks to advanced surgical methods, patients are able to manage most of the recovery process at home once they are discharged from the hospital. Still, you can expect to have periodic check-ups with your provider.
Aftercare following joint replacement surgery is an integral part of the process, so during this time, it will be crucial that you follow all post-operative guidance from your doctor.
Patients can expect the following throughout the recovery process:
- After the first few days – Patients are generally tired for the first few days after surgery as the body recovers from the stress of surgery and recovery. During the first few days, rest will be a priority. Throughout the recovery process, you can expect to experience a bit of pain as the area heals and the body regenerates new tissue. Everyone is different, but pain should subside after a few weeks.
- Throughout the first six weeks – In the first couple of weeks following surgery, patients should prioritize wound care by keeping the incision site clean and dry, as well as changing the dressing based on the surgeon’s recommendations. Proper wound care will reduce the risk of infection and discomfort.
- Ongoing – After your surgery, be sure to continue to do the exercises prescribed by your provider. In addition to doing your recovery exercises, it will also be important to adjust to navigating daily necessities, like getting in and out of bed, walking up and down stairs, if necessary, and moving around the home.
If you do experience any abnormal symptoms at any point in the recovery process, like extreme pain, redness, or discharge, then it’s a good idea to contact your doctor for support so they can provide guidance on next steps.
Returning To Normal Activities
After focusing on recovery for a few weeks, you will be able to start working in some activity. Everyone is different, so it will be necessary for you to discuss your recovery timeline with your doctor before you move back into activity. However, you can use some average timelines as a reference point.
For common activities, you can expect the following timelines:
- Work – Your timeline for returning to work depends on your job. For example, if you have an office job that requires little activity, you may be able to return within a couple of weeks. If your job involves considerable standing or movement, like stocking at a grocery store, you may need closer to six weeks.
- Driving – Typically, patients are not able to drive for about two to four weeks after their hip replacement surgery. This timeline can depend on which leg you had the surgery, so refer to your healthcare provider to determine what’s appropriate for you.
- Exercise – You can stay active after surgery with light, low-impact exercises like walking and swimming. However, it will take time to build back up to your pre-surgery levels of activity. Leave higher-impact exercises up to your surgeon’s judgment, and don’t jump in too soon.
- Sports – The timeline for returning to your favorite sports depends on your preferred activity. Some lower-impact sports, like golf, may be easier to return to within a month or two, while high-impact sports, like basketball, can take up to three or four months.
As always, be sure to consult your surgeon about returning to activities and determine whether it’s a good idea before you begin reincorporating them into your routine.
Let JRCS Help You Get Back To The Things You Love
Having a picture of common hip replacement surgery recovery times will help you manage your expectations for the recovery process and stick to your plan. The only way to get a more accurate idea of what to expect is to consult a surgeon about your unique case.
Our caring and compassionate team at The Joint Replacement Center of Scottsdale will work with you to understand your case and develop a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs. We are skilled in advanced surgical methods that will allow you to get back to your favorite activities and return to your lifestyle sooner.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our surgeons and learn more about whether you’re a candidate for hip replacement surgery and what you should expect from the process.