Recovery from hip replacement surgery can vary from person to person. A research study concluded that people who followed a progressively increasing level of exercise during the recovery phase, gained more positive outcomes compared to those who didn’t increase their exercise levels (1).
Hip Replacement Recovery Time: How long does it take?
Here is an example of a typical timeline for recovery from hip surgery:
Usually, a hip replacement patient can:
What are the Different Stages of The Recovery Timeline?
Day of Surgery – Post-Operative Day Zero – Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery
Early mobility is important for improving blood circulation and avoiding blood clots formation; therefore you can expect this to begin the day of your surgery.
|Exercises||How To Perform?||Repetition|
|Breathing||6 times, every hour|
|Foot and ankle pump||10 times, every hour|
|Lower buttock squeeze||6 – 8 times, 3 times a day|
|Hip Flexion||10 times.|
|Knee Flexion (in a lying position)||10 times per day|
|Leg slide out||6 – 8 times, 3 times a day|
|Straight Leg Raise (in a lying position)||5 times|
You can start bed exercises immediately after surgery with the help of a physiotherapist.
Post-Operative Day One/Two
Most patients go home on postoperative day one or two.
Occasionally discharge times can be delayed if a patient requires further medical intervention or an additional physiotherapy assessment.
You are likely to be discharged if you meet the following goals:
|Therapy Goals||Medical Goals|
|To have a precise understanding of your recovery stages.||Blood tests are stable.|
|Independently complete your exercises.||Stitches are healing well.|
|Independently walk short distances (e.g. to the bathroom) with a walker.||Pain is well managed.|
|Be able to climb stairs (with assistance) if you have them at home.||Health status is at baseline (e.g. blood pressure, heart beat rate, temperature and oxygen levels)|
|Manage some personal care (e.g. getting dressed).||-|
|Get in and out of bed by yourself.||-|
Activity Management At Home
|Positioning in Bed||How to Get In and Out of Bed|
Sitting And Standing On Chair/Commode
|To Sit||To Stand Up|
|Step up||Step Down|
Getting In/Out of A Car
Week 1-3 After Hip Surgery
Your goals for this time period are to:
|Exercises||How to Perform?||Repetition Per Day|
|Hip Flexion (in a standing position)||10 times|
|Hip Slide Out (in a standing position)||10 times|
|Hip Extension Stretch (in a standing position)||3 times|
|Hip Extension with Lift (in a standing position)||10 times|
|Weight Transfers||5 times|
Standing-based exercises are recommended at least 3 times a day for at least 6 weeks but you can continue them if you still find them of benefit.
Weeks 3-6 After Hip Surgery
During this time phase, you will notice a greater recovery to full independence. You can perform some light activities at this point in your recovery. However, the activities you’re allowed to perform will depend on how your body is healing.
Your goals for this time phase are to:
|Exercises||How to Perform?||Repetition per Day|
|High Knee Marching||10 times|
|Single Leg Stance||5 times|
|Step Up & Down||5 times|
|Side Step & Squat||5 times|
|Clam (side lying)||10 times|
|Hip Extension (prone lying)||10 times|
|Hip Abduction (side lying)||10 times|
These exercises are recommended approximately 3 weeks post-surgery. Progress onto these exercises only if you feel you’re able to.
Weeks 6-12 After Hip Surgery
By this time, you should be able to gradually return to your normal activities.
Your goals for this time phase are to:
Timeframe of Resuming Physical activities
|Activity||Time-Period Resumed Post Surgery|
|Walking with a walker or crutches||1-4 days|
|Walking with a cane||4 weeks|
|Unassisted walking||6-8 weeks|
|Limited work (seated)||3 weeks|
|Work (standing/active)||6-8 weeks|
|Sports activities||6 weeks|
Speak with your healthcare provider, as these are general timeframes for resuming physical activities safely. The best time frames for your individual situation can differ from what are listed here.
Medical Equipment You Might Need After HRS
|Bedside Commode||Elevated Toilet Seat With Grab Bar||2-Wheeled Walker|
|Bed Rail||Metal Grab Bar||Firm (High-Density) Foam Cushion|
|Sock Aid||Non-Slip Bath Mat||Cane/Crutches|
|Reacher||Medical Bathtub Shower Lift Chair||Leg Lifter Strap|
|Long-Handled Shoehorn||Long-Handled Bath Sponge||-|
|Dressing Stick||Toilet Safety Frame||-|
Latest Technology To Monitor Recovery
Remote patient monitoring technology has been developed to assist in the recovery from hip replacement surgery and is intended to be used at home during the recovery period of eight to 12 weeks after the operation.
This sensor technology comprises:
Below are some remote-patient-monitoring technologies:
If you are considering having a hip replacement, you may like to read our comprehensive guide to the cost of hip surgery in the UK, which lists the surgeons, hospitals and the prices in your area.
Your recovery from hip replacement surgery starts as soon as the anaesthesia wears off. As each patient has different needs, it is vital that you seek the advice of your surgeon or doctor before embarking upon any exercise programme.
Therefore it is essential that you talk to your doctor about what the recovery period involves in your case, as it helps you to achieve the best outcome.
The best way you can speed up and improve your recovery from hip replacement surgery is by making sure you take regular exercise which will restore strength and mobility to your hip.
But don’t overdo it! This exercise should be balanced with periods of rest to allow yourself time to recover.
By being aware of the different stages of the timeline following the operation and by following the exercise guidelines set out, you should ensure a full and speedy recovery from hip replacement surgery.