How Long Does It Take to Recover After a Hip Surgery?

     

How Long Does it Take to Recover After a Hip Surgery?

Although it is a major procedure, many people recover from hip surgery faster than you might expect. In many cases, you may return to normal activity in as few as three weeks, with 12 weeks generally being the longest expected recovery time. Being proactive during hip surgery recovery may help you recover faster and get you back to your life as quickly as possible. Knowing what to expect after surgery can help you plan for your recovery and be prepared with techniques that support faster healing.

Day of Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery and your health, the procedure could take several hours and will likely require general anaesthesia. You should also expect to stay in the hospital for the first few days after surgery, so pack your bag accordingly. Surgery day can be a long one and might require some patience on your part, but it’s the first step to returning to your pre-injury activity level.

Recovery tips:

  • Ask your doctor to tell you the plan for the day so you know what to expect.
  • Fill your prescriptions in advance.
  • Pack a bag with enough items to support you for a few days.

Possible exercises:

  • Ankle pumps
  • Ankle rotations

Day After Surgery

Surgery is traumatizing to the body, which is why you may experience some pain the following day. Your doctor will likely prescribe painkillers and any other medications necessary to help you recover. This might include antibiotics to prevent infection or blood thinners to prevent clots after surgery. A physical therapist might perform some passive motion exercises with you to start regaining mobility.

Recovery tips:

  • Take deep breaths to clear your lungs after anaesthesia.
  • Communicate with your medical team about how you’re feeling.
  • Be prepared with activities you can do in bed.

Possible exercises:

  • Ankle pumps
  • Ankle rotations
  • Bed-supported knee bends
  • Abduction movements

1-2 Days After Surgery

Physical therapy includes both passive motion exercises and starting to walk with an assistive device like a walker or crutches. Although you might be feeling some pain, it’s important to keep the muscles in your hip joint strong and flexible during hip surgery recovery.

Recovery tips:

  • Follow your physical therapist’s instructions for movement.
  • Don’t overdo it.
  • Learn what you need to know about recovery at home.

Possible exercises:

  • Bed-supported knee bends
  • Abduction movements
  • Quadriceps engagement
  • Straight leg raises

1 Week After Surgery

It’s important to keep your hip joint mobile as you continue to recover. Movement is critical for maintaining range of motion, so don’t stay in bed the entire time. Your physical therapist should have given you exercises to do at home. hey might also do occasional home visits to check your progress.

Recovery tips:

  • Ask friends and family to help with driving and other daily tasks.
  • Apply cold therapy to help reduce hip pain and swelling.
  • Keep your incision clean and dry.

Possible exercises:

  • Straight leg raises
  • Standing knee raises
  • Standing hip abduction
  • Standing hip extensions

2 Weeks After Surgery

Your incision should be healed by now and your doctor should be able to take your stitches out. You might still have to be careful to not get it wet for a few days, but when it is fully healed you can resume showering as normal.

Recovery tips:

  • Try to taper off pain medication as soon as possible.
  • Use cold therapy to dull the sensation of pain without side effects.
  • Continue your physical therapy with stair climbing and more advanced exercises.

Possible exercises:

  • Walking
  • Ascending and descending stairs
  • Continued standing exercises

3-6 Weeks After Surgery

Many people are substantially recovered after six weeks. Until then, you can expect to feel tired and experience some soreness at the end of the day. Don’t expect to be doing intense athletics at this point, but you can probably do light activities as you ramp back up to your previous activity level.

Recovery tips:

  • Take breaks throughout the day.
  • Continue using cold therapy as needed to help reduce pain.
  • Do resistance exercises and light cardio such as walking or stationary cycling.

Possible exercises:

  • Resistive hip flexion
  • Resistive hip abduction
  • Resistive hip extensions

10-12 Weeks After Surgery

By this time, you should be almost fully recovered and able to do most of the activities you could do before the surgery. If you had a hip replacement, you may even be able to do more because you won’t have the pain that you had before the procedure.

Recovery tips:

  • Integrate activity into your lifestyle to maintain strength and range of motion.
  • Learn proper techniques to avoid future sports injuries.
  • Go to the follow-up doctor visits to make sure your recovery is on track.

For more information about hip surgery recovery, visit our dedicated page where you can learn about treatment options, tips for a faster recovery, and how to avoid hip injuries.

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