You may start to feel pain relief almost immediately after your total hip replacement surgery, thanks to the removal of the inflamed and damaged tissue that caused the discomfort. However, complete recovery after your surgery will take some time. As you regain strength and mobility in your hip, you’ll be able to reintroduce different activities into your daily routine.
Recovery times are different for everyone. How long it takes for your hip joint to recover depends on your age, activity level, and overall health. We created this hip replacement surgery recovery timeline to give people like you an idea of what to expect in the days, weeks, and months after your procedure.
The day of your hip replacement surgery
After your hip replacement surgery, you’ll stay in a recovery room for a few hours while your anesthesia wears off. During this time, your medical team will monitor your pain levels and blood pressure to keep an eye out for any complications. They’ll also give you medication to help prevent infection and blood clots. You’ll need to stick to a liquid diet for the rest of the day. But, there’s a good chance you’ll get to go home the day of your surgery.
1 to 3 days after your hip replacement surgery
You should be able to get out of bed (with help) as soon as the day after your surgery. By day 3, you should be able to go to the bathroom by yourself. From the first days of your recovery, it’s important to try to get up and walk around a few times a day, according to your surgeon’s instructions. Walking after surgery can help strengthen muscles, improve blood and oxygen flow, and speed up the healing process.
During this time, you’ll meet with physical and occupational therapists. Their job is to teach you how to move with your new joint as you recover. They’ll teach you the right way to walk with a cane or walker, if needed, and show you specific exercises that can help you regain the use of your muscles and hip joint.
1 week after your hip replacement surgery
During the first week after surgery, you will need to follow your surgeon’s instructions to prevent infection in your wound. This includes:
- Taking sponge baths while keeping your incision clean and dry.
- Reporting any fever, increased redness, or swelling to your doctor right away.
By the end of this week, you’ll probably need less pain medication throughout the day. Make sure to keep up with your physical therapy exercises, as well as any movements your provider recommends to decrease your risk of blood clots.
2 weeks after your hip replacement surgery
Around 10 to 14 days after your surgery, your doctor will remove your stitches or staples. After that, you can start showering normally again. Consider getting a shower seat before your surgery to make bathing easier during your recovery. The two-week mark is also when you should be able to start walking normally (without a cane or walker) after your hip replacement.
4 to 6 weeks after your hip replacement surgery
In the month and a half following your hip replacement, you’ll be able to start introducing more and more activities into your daily routine. If you are off pain medication by this point, your physician may clear you to start driving again. They may also clear you to have sex around 6 weeks after the procedure — as long as you avoid positions that may put a strain on your hip.
As you start feeling better, it’s still crucial that you keep up with your physical therapy exercises and avoid sitting for long periods of time. This is the best way to regain strength and mobility in your hip joint.
12 weeks after your hip replacement surgery and beyond
Around three months after your hip replacement surgery, you should be cleared to return to all of your normal activities. However, it can take up to 6 months to a year to completely recover from the surgery. Throughout the different stages of your recovery, your physical therapist will help by teaching you exercises to improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and restore your balance and flexibility.
How to schedule your hip replacement surgery
When you’re ready to schedule your total hip replacement, your next step is to find a surgeon you trust. Using the New Choice Health Patient Assist program, you can search for top-rated, affordable hip replacement surgeons in your area.
Visit our Orthopedic Surgery Assistance page to learn more.