If your doctor has suggested a hip replacement, you may be worried about the recovery time and how quickly you can get back to your original routines. If so, the good news is that the recovery time now is much quicker than it was even several years ago.
If you’re a senior having a hip replacement, you should be walking short distances and getting out of bed on your own within 4 to 6 weeks. Full recovery from a hip replacement will take you anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending on a variety of factors.
Hip replacement recovery times are very dependent on the patient’s health and other mitigating factors. Keep reading to see those factors and how to minimize your recovery time.
Recovering After A Hip Replacement
Everyone who has a hip replacement will be different and likely have different recovery times. However, there are some basic timelines for recovery that most people follow. They include:
1 – 2 Days
- Get out of bed with assistance
- Begin eating a normal diet
- Shift from IV to oral pain medications
3 – 4 Days
- Walk with help from a walker or crutches
- Discharge from hospital
- Physical Therapist will come to your home
- Move as much as possible
10 – 14 Days
- Stitches from the incision will be taken out
4 – 6 Weeks
- Get out of bed on your own
- Walk short distances on your own without a walker or other assistance
- Able to do most light activities
3 – 6 Months
- Able to return to all normal activities
Remember, these are only guidelines, and your experience could differ. To speed up your recovery, it is very important that you get up and walking as soon as possible. Walking will play an important part in your overall recovery strategy. Your physical therapist will give you exercises to do but walking will be the best exercise you can give your hip.
Walking also means less chance of a blood clot, since it will increase your circulation to your legs and feet. It can increase your muscle strength and keep your hip from getting stiff. You should also breathe deeply after your surgery to avoid fluid collecting in your lungs after your surgery.
Factors Affecting Hip Replacement Recovery
The main factor affecting your hip replacement recovery will be how active you were before the surgery. Your overall health pre-surgery will determine how quickly you will recover post-surgery. Someone who exercises regularly and is in good shape will recover faster than someone who rarely exercised.
Before surgery, follow the below recommendations for a better recovery period.
Develop a Healthy Exercise Routine
Exercising before and after a hip replacement surgery is very important to the success of the surgery. Before surgery, become as active as you can be. Here are some tips for beginning your exercise regime:
Walk as much as you can. Walking will increase circulation in your legs and hips, improving the chances of shorter recovery time.
Pull your feet towards you and then push them away.
Sit on a chair and straighten your leg, holding for 5 seconds.
Lie flat on a bed. Push the back of your knee down onto the bed and hold for 5 seconds.
Find a chair with arms. Push down on the arms, holding your buttocks in the air as long as you can, and then slowly release.
Squeeze your butt muscles together for 5 seconds and release.
Straight Leg Exercises
Put one foot flat on the bed and raise the other leg (the one on which you will have surgery) a few inches off the bed. Hold for 5 seconds.
Lie on a bed and slide your heel up to your buttocks, keeping the heel flat on the bed.
Lie on the bed and put a towel under your knee. Straighten your leg and hold for 5 seconds. Lower slowly. This should be the leg on which you will have surgery.
Slide your leg out to the side while lying on a bed. Bring back in slowly and repeat.
Health Goals Before and After Hip Replacement Surgery
Your goal is to get as healthy as you can before the surgery. You want to pay special attention to the leg and hip scheduled for surgery.
Strengthen those muscles as much as you can so you can retain some of that mobility after the hip replacement.
After a hip replacement, exercise is just as important, although you may not be able to go back to the same exercises quickly after the replacement.
However, it is vitally important you exercise after surgery so you can rehabilitate successfully. Use the same exercises above to strengthen your muscles and, above all, walk as much as you can.
Control your Weight with a Healthy Diet
Extra weight will only put added stress on your joints and muscles and will add to complications with the hip hardware after your hip replacement. It’s important to listen to your doctor and begin a healthy diet.