5 tips for a successful hip replacement recovery

If you’re considering a hip replacement, preparing for your surgery, or on the road to recovery, it’s important to know how you can support yourself post-surgery. Ideally, don’t wait until after your surgery to start preparing for your recovery. Before your replacement, have a clear plan for how you’re going to support yourself throughout recovery, and who you can rely on to offer additional support. 

Always remember to work closely with your doctor, an expert local physio, and other health practitioners to ensure you are moving safely within your limit so you don’t jeopardize your recovery. Listen to your body, and be kind to yourself – recovery can feel frustrating, but once you come out of the other side, you will be grateful for your new hip and your new life. 

Joint replacement surgeries are some of the most common elective surgeries performed, with a high success rate. That being said, there are some things you can do to ensure a smooth recovery after your replacement, which will increase the chance of a successful outcome following your surgery. 

Before your surgery 

While you’re awaiting your hip replacement surgery, start planning for your recovery period. 

 1. Plan for time off work 

You will need to take time off work following your hip replacement – but the duration of the time can depend on various factors. If your job is physically demanding, expect to take a longer break so you don’t push yourself too soon after surgery. Prior to surgery, you won’t know how you will feel during recovery, so allow for plenty of time off work in case you need it. Planning for a long period of work will reduce unnecessary stress after your surgery if you do need to take additional time off. 

The length of rehabilitation following a hip replacement can vary from person to person depending on age, general health, and other factors, but on average you can resume normal duties within 4 to 6 weeks. However – if your job is labor-intensive, you will likely need longer. Other aspects of recovery – such as returning to light sporting activities – may take up to 3 months or longer. 

Your workplace may be flexible in helping you return to work, with options to work from home or for reduced responsibilities in the workplace. Make sure you speak to your employer prior to your hip replacement surgery. 

2. Prepare your home 

Set up your home with accessibility in mind. Make sure everything you need often is within easy reach so that you don’t need to stretch or bend when you return from the hospital. Your house should be nice and tidy when you come home from your surgery, but you will also need to make sure you have family or friends offering support with cleaning, cooking, and food shopping early on in your recovery. 

After your surgery 

Though it’s tempting to just lie down and rest in the weeks following your surgery, there are some things you can be doing to help along the recovery process. 

1. Follow the advice of your health practitioner 

Prior to leaving the hospital, you will likely be given a list of daily exercises to help you in your recovery. Make sure you follow these exercises as given to you, and keep doing them for as long as advised, even after you start feeling stronger. Your physio or occupational therapist will also tell you how to move around after your surgery, how much weight to put on your leg, and how to safely get in and out of bed. 

2. Move your body

While rest is important to your recovery, it’s vital to get up and move your body, too. If you avoid moving in the weeks following your surgery or spend too long sitting down, you could hinder the healing process. Schedule regular, gentle exercise such as short walks around the home or yard. Walking is a great tool for recovery, and you can slowly increase the duration and frequency of your walks as you recover. Remember that sitting still for too long can increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in your legs. 

 3. Be mindful of nutrition 

Eating a nutritious diet will help you on your road to recovery. Keeping hydrated and eating a varied diet is vital in the healing process, and you should ensure you consume protein, fats, carbs, and all the correct vitamins and minerals during your recovery. Your support people can help you with cooking in the early days, or plan ahead by stocking the freezer full of nutritious meals prior to your surgery. Eating mindfully will ensure you remain at a comfortable weight – gaining extra weight will put additional strain on your new hip. 

Hip replacements are very common and have a high success rate, so it’s likely your recovery will go off without a hitch. That being said, if at any stage of your recovery something doesn’t feel right, seek medical advice. You should reach out to your physio for hip pain if the pain gets progressively worse, or seems to be stemming from a problem following your surgery. 

Make sure you complete all your daily exercises as dictated by your physio, take slow, short walks every day, and spend some time before your surgery setting up your home, work, and support system so that you don’t have anything to worry about as you recover. Support yourself in your recovery, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time! 

Similar Articles




Most Popular