Hip Revision Surgery Recovery Timeline

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Hip revision surgery corrects problems in hip joints that have already gone through a total hip replacement and have been substituted with a plastic, ceramic, or metal alternative.
  • Augmentations and implants can be added or swapped out during hip revision surgery to fix damage in the bone around the hip and provide more structural support. This procedure can also help curb hip infections.
  • The hip revision surgery recovery timeline consists of an early recovery phase that lasts six weeks, a mid-recovery phase that lasts five weeks, and a late recovery phase that lasts three months, in addition to long-term maintenance.
  • As patients progress through their recovery stages, they will likely practice rehabilitation exercises that gradually increase in intensity and regularly consult their surgeon and physical therapist to facilitate healing.

Learning About Hip Revision Surgery Recovery Time

Nothing lasts forever, not even artificial hip joints installed during total hip replacement surgery. If those plastic, ceramic, or metal prostheses are installed correctly, they usually last for 15 to 20 years or, in some cases, the rest of the patient’s life. Still, there is a chance that some artificial hip joints will need total hip revision surgery, especially if they were installed incorrectly or a long time ago.

Sometimes, the bone around the artificial hip joint is damaged and needs to be augmented, and implants should be added or swapped out to regain structural stability. Hip revision surgery can also address hip-related infections, but it would need to take place over two stages to allow time to add an antibiotic spacer to help fight the infection.

Thankfully, recent technological advancements, such as Mako SmartRobotics, allow surgeries to be minimally invasive and provide quicker recovery times than older methods. Understanding the typical hip revision surgery recovery timeline can help you calibrate your expectations and make informed decisions that support your healing process.

Preparing For Recovery

Are you getting a hip revision surgery to combat the wear and tear, misalignment, or infection affecting your artificial hip joint? If so, before your procedure, you must work with your joint specialist to make all the necessary pre-surgery preparations to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 

Some common steps you can expect before your surgery are:

  1. Consulting and discussing with the surgeon
  2. Undergoing a medical evaluation
  3. Reviewing current and post-surgery medication use
  4. Receiving pre-surgery instructions
    1. Diet changes
    2. Recommended and prohibited exercises
    3. Fasting procedures
  5. Making arrangements for aftercare
  6. Adapting your home to be conducive for recovery and mobility restrictions

The above tasks are a standard part of the pre-surgery process for hip revisions. Nevertheless, each healthcare provider will have a unique preparation procedure. Still, you should use some of your alone time to learn more about expected processes and ensure you are mentally ready for the surgery.

Mental and Emotional Readiness

In addition to the preparation steps provided by your medical professional, you should also take the initiative to mentally and emotionally prepare for your hip revision surgery. Some ways to solidify your expectations and mentally prepare are:

  • Remind yourself that your pain can be reduced and your quality of life improved after you have healed from the surgery.
  • Practice stress management techniques, including deep breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery.
  • Discuss your concerns with your medical provider so they can give you more clarity and alleviate fears.
  • Surround yourself with benevolent family and friends who can provide emotional support both pre- and post-operation

By being intentional before your surgery, practicing mindfulness, and ensuring you have everything you need after your operation, you can smoothly enter the early recovery phase.

Return to the Activities You Love

Our board-certified surgeons at The Joint Replacement Center of Scottsdale use the latest methods in hip surgery to provide you with the best possible outcome.

Early Recovery Phase (Weeks 1-6)

Thanks to cutting-edge technology like Mako SmartRobotics, many highly trained joint specialists can perform minimally invasive hip revision surgeries that allow patients to resume tasks shortly after the operation. This means you could see a lot of improvement in the early recovery phase. The following tasks and stages can be expected during the first six weeks after your operation.

Regaining and Monitoring Movement

Many patients can walk almost immediately after their revision surgery and are discharged on the same day. However, depending on certain factors, such as the surgery’s scope and the patient’s age, some patients may need additional accommodations—for example, some may need to rely on a walker, cane, or crutches for the first few days or weeks after their hip revision surgery. 

Over the next few weeks, note how your mobility range shifts. If you notice significant declines in progress, you should contact your joint specialist to ensure your hip is still healing correctly.

Wound Monitoring

Proper wound care is essential after you make it home, considering you may have stitches, staples, or glue sealing your surgical wound. To minimize the risk of infection, do not soak the wound in water until it has fully sealed and dried. Keep an eye on the healing progress of your wound and update your medical provider about any peculiarities. 

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Chances are your joint specialist will recommend professional-led physical therapy services and at-home rehabilitation exercises like iliotibial band stretches that help you increase your joint’s strength and range of motion. Continuing to move and exercise is a crucial part of the recovery process, but exercises should be low-impact and tailored to your specific condition.

Mid-Recovery Phase (Weeks 7-12)

For many patients, physical therapy will continue into the next five weeks of their recovery stage. However, the exercises will focus more on increasing the activity level.

Raising the Degree of Activity

Unfortunately, muscle atrophy can start within a few weeks of limited or no movement. Therefore, many people experience some muscle atrophy in the iliopsoas, pectineus, and adductor muscles surrounding the hip joint during the early recovery phase of their hip revision surgery. 

To rebuild muscle effectively, physical therapy programs may gradually increase the recommended amount of activity, raising the intensity and time spent strengthening your hip joint. You should openly communicate with your physical therapist and surgeon to ensure you are not progressing too quickly.

Consulting With Your Medical Providers

The mid-recovery phase is a formative time to help you and your medical provider understand how the upcoming recovery stages should look. With this in mind, you should continue openly communicating with your surgeon, physical therapist, and other medical professionals involved in your hip revision surgery recovery. Together, you and your medical providers can address lingering discomfort or complications you feel and try to prevent them from worsening or being permanent.

Late Recovery Phase (Months 3-6)

By the end of the mid-recovery phase, you should be closer to a full range of motion, allowing you to spend the next few months getting back into normal activities you performed before the surgery.

Achieving Full Strength and Mobility

Pain should be significantly reduced at this point in the healing process, allowing your physical therapist to assign more ambitious exercises, like deep squats, to help you regain your full strength and the most expansive range of motion.

Transitioning Back to Average Activities

As you approach full mobility and comfortable movement, your surgeon may recommend trying normal activities again, such as climbing stairs, going for light jogs, or gardening. If the surgery was performed successfully and you heal correctly, you will have a high chance of smoothly resuming your life within just a few months after your hip revision surgery.

Long-Term Recovery & Maintenance

Following the 6-month healing process, you should feel more flexible, sturdy, and capable. However, you still need to maintain your revised hip joint to preserve its function. It is also important to take care of the rest of your body to avoid pain and premature deterioration. 

Long-term recovery responsibilities may include:

  1. Regularly exercising to keep your hip joint supported by strong muscles.
  2. Attending routine check-up appointments with your healthcare provider.
  3. Managing your weight to reduce stress on your hip joint.
  4. Eat a well-rounded, nutritious diet that nourishes your bone health.
  5. Avoiding activities that could cause injuries, especially around the house.

These lifestyle changes can preserve your quality of life and keep your hip joint as healthy as possible to avoid future revision surgeries.

Find Relief From Hip-Related Pain

The hip revision surgery recovery timeline starts with an early recovery phase centered around monitoring your wound and slowly regaining mobility through physical therapy and at-home rehabilitation exercises. As the patient progresses into the mid-recovery phase, their physical therapy exercises may gradually increase in intensity and frequency. Then, they will move into the late recovery phase, where they attempt to regain full strength and mobility while returning to regular events and activities. Long-term maintenance is also required to ensure you get the most use out of your hip revision surgery.

The Joint Replacement Center of Scottsdale has practiced hip replacement and revision surgery for over 15 years in the greater Phoenix area. If you need an expertly performed hip revision surgery, our experienced joint specialists can use top-of-the-line technology like Mako SmartRobotics to achieve a minimally invasive approach that encourages a quick recovery.

Contact us to ensure your hip revision surgery is accurate and tailored to your needs.