Recovery from hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure to swap a damaged or worn hip joint that is causing pain and mobility issues with an artificial one. A successful hip replacement is an effective way to alleviate pain, although recovering from surgery can take up to several months. Physiotherapy in Twickenham can help speed up your recovery.

What to expect after hip replacement surgery

On average, recovery from hip replacement surgery takes between 8 and 12 weeks to get your basic daily function back to normal but will take up to a year for the hip to feel ‘normal’ depending on your health and how physically demanding your job or daily life is. 

Your care team will try to help you get up and move about as soon as possible. This may feel uncomfortable at first, particularly as you may experience swelling in your leg and foot.

If you’re in good health, you may receive an enhanced recovery plan, which means you’ll be encouraged to walk around on the same day and be discharged within 3 days rather than 5 days. 

The hip pain you likely experienced pre-surgery should go away immediately. You will feel some pain as a result of the operation itself but this should also go away as you recover. Regular pain relief is recommended, particularly for the first few days post-surgery.

Recovery time

According to NHS guidelines, most people can return to their regular routine and/or work within 6 weeks, unless your job is particularly physically demanding.

That said, there are ways you can speed up your recovery time. These include:

  • healthy eating — a healthy, balanced diet will ensure your body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs to heal and repair
  • a helping hand — accept help from family and friends, where possible, so you do not need to struggle with more physical tasks, such as driving or shopping
  • routine — try to stick to your regular daily schedule as much as possible while building up your mobility
  • physiotherapy — this will help rebuild your muscle strength to compliment your functional recovery and improve your mobility.

The importance of physiotherapy after hip replacement surgery

While you’re in the hospital recovering from your surgery, a physiotherapist will work with you. They will help you perform exercises and movements designed to strengthen the muscles in and around your hip and keep it supple. 

Your physiotherapist will assist you with the basics of your physical recovery in the early post-operative phase. They will advise on your weight-bearing status, provide appropriate walking aids and help you take your first few steps. They may also suggest specific precautions when sleeping, sitting or bending.

It’s important to keep up your physiotherapy once you’re home to optimise your recovery. 

You should be able to quickly graduate to gentle movements and light walking on a regular basis. This will help improve your strength, flexibility, joint motion and balance. Exercises focusing on weight-bearing, movement and posture are especially helpful for older people who are at an increased risk of falls.

Our highly skilled physiotherapists are experienced in providing physiotherapy after total and partial hip replacements and can advise you on specific exercises tailored to your overall health and recovery status.

Following your surgery, we’ll assess your condition and help you get active as quickly and safely as possible. If you need help to get back on your feet after a hip replacement, give us a call on 0208 898 1213 to discuss your needs.

Remember, for more specific rehabilitation advice, you’ll need an assessment from a professional.