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Best Things For Hip Replacement Recovery: 90 plus Tips

Hip replacement recovery can seem pretty daunting ahead of surgery, and I must say that I was rather petrified with all it seemed my Mom would not be able to do after her posterior hip replacement. We found out, though, that if you plan ahead, prepare your home, and then take things slowly, even for a very elderly person, there is no need to freak out. It is really, mostly, just sensible things that you can do, and then don’t rush things after surgery

The most important things for a hip replacement recovery are –

  • find the best surgeon available to you
  • prepare your home ahead
  • if you are overweight, lose weight first
  • build up the muscles in your legs and hip before surgery
  • buy any devices you may be needing
  • learn how to get in and out of the shower, bath, and bed
  • learn how to sit and stand with a walker
  • prepare lots of meals and freeze them
  • after surgery, do your exercise religiously
  • follow the precautions you are given to the letter

 

 

Get the best surgeon you can

 
This may sound stupid, but do check the background and reputation of your surgeon.

Surgeons are just like professionals in every other career area, some will be better than others than doing their job.

Experience is another factor – how experienced is your surgeon ? How many hip replacements have they done ?

If it goes wrong in the beginning, or is poorly done, there is no way you can improve things, so make sure you are happy with your surgeon.
 

Home care after hip replacement

After an anterior approach hip replacement, you may typically need help for 7 to 10 days at home with some tasks.

After a posterior, or lateral, approach hip replacement, you will typically need help with many tasks for 2 to 4 weeks.

The difference between the recovery times, with regard to requiring a carer, is due to the difference in surgical procedures with traditional posterior and lateral approach hip replacements, being far more invasive, leaving the hip joint less stable after surgery, for a period of time.

After a posterior, or lateral, approach hip replacement, you are not allowed, for a period of time, to bend your hip more than 90 degrees, which could mean for some, especially the more elderly, and fragile, that they will need home care for longer.

This, for instance, was the case with my 88-year-old mom, and she required far more help, for a longer time than is typically suggested.

 

Home care for anterior approach hip replacements

Surgeons, and clinics, advise that an anterior approach hip replacement patient typically requires some form of help for 7 to 10 days.

For the first week, after surgery, you may be using a walker to help with your balance, and to get used to the new hip, so, you will probably need help with quite a lot of things around the house.

 

Typically, there are no restrictions on bending, so you should be able to –

– dress on your own, and if hurts you can use dressing aids for a day or two if you don’t want help.

– wash on your own, after the first 48 hours after surgery, it might be sensible at first to sit when you shower or bathe, and remember that you should not immerse your incision until your surgeon has informed you that it is completely healed.

You may need help with –

– cooking and housework may be difficult for the first week or so, and you may need someone to help you with this, especially while you are still using the walker.

– driving, in some cases after an anterior hip replacement can be resumed after two weeks, unless it is a stick shift, or your right hip which means you must wait 4 weeks. So you will need  help with going to appointments for 2 – 4 weeks after surgery.

With elderly patients, a lot of this may take longer, and will also depend greatly on their general state of health before they had the surgery.

Your surgeon should be able to give you a better idea.

 

Home care for posterior and lateral approach hip replacements

 

You will typically be advised that for a posterior, or lateral approach hip replacement, you may need a carer for at least the first two weeks to 4 weeks.

The first two, to three, weeks after the surgery will typically be the most challenging, and the precautions you will be told to observe with bending, leaning, twisting and reaching, are going to mean that you will most likely require help with quite a few activities during this time.

 

Typical activities for which you may need assistance for up to 2 to 4 weeks –

 

– getting in and out of bed

– getting to the bathroom- going to the toilet

– your exercise program

– dressing

– bathing – getting in and out of the bath, or shower, as well as the actual washing

– driving

– cooking

– household chores

– laundry

– groceries

– follow-up appointments

 

For an elderly person, such as my mom, you extend the time they will require help to up to around 6 weeks. Not everything, but I took care of the majority of the household chores, the cooking, the groceries etc. for around 2 months at least.

My mom had a carer who washed her in a chair for 4 weeks, and I continued to help her for another two weeks.

 

If you want to know more in depth about how long you will need some form of home care, I have an article here – “How Long Do You Need A Caregiver After Hip Surgery ? A Guide With Recovery Times”, in which I go over typical times, and also what was required when looking after a more elderly adult after a posterior approach hip replacement.

What can you never do after a hip replacement

 

For anterior hip replacements

Due to the nature of the surgery, the number of precautions that you are required to observe after an anterior hip replacement are much less than after a posterior, or a lateral approach hip replacement.

Before you stop observing these precautions, you must always get the okay from your surgeon.

 

  • typically, don’t shower for 48 hrs
  • don’t lean too far forwards if it hurts – wait until it is less painful
  • don’t bend or stretch backwards, extending your hip (hyperextension)
  • don’t pivot on your foot when you walk
  • don’t turn your foot outwards
  • don’t twist your leg or toe to the outside
  • don’t lay or sleep on your stomach – this will force you to point your feet either outwards or inwards and twist the hip
  • don’t sleep with your knee pointing outward
  • don’t sleep on the hip replacement side, you can sleep on your non-operated hip side
  • don’t immerse your incision in water until it is completely healed – typically 6 to 8 weeks
  • don’t sleep in a recliner – this will cause the hip to stiffen
  • don’t try to do sit-ups
  • don’t do any bridging exercises
  • don’t play sports until your surgeon says it is okay

 

For Posterior and lateral Hip replacements

 

You will typically need to follow these precautions until your surgeon says otherwise – you will be asked to follow of these guidelines for somewhere between 3 and 12 weeks, depending on which one it is

 

  • don’t lift your knees higher than your hips, whether lying standing or sitting (explained below)
  • don’t bend at your waist
  • don’t stay in the same position when seated for too long
  • don’t cross your legs in any position, whether lying down, sitting or standing
  • don’t twist your upper body out of line with your hips – try to stay facing the same way
  • don’t point your feet outwards
  • don’t point your feet inwards
  • don’t pivot on your foot of the operative hip to turn, when standing or walking
  • don’t kneel – wait until your surgeon has told you that you can, and shown you how to
  • don’t drive until you are given the okay by your surgeon – this could be 4 to 6 weeks after surgery
  • don’t sit in the bottom of a bathtub – you won’t be able to do this usually for a number of months
  • don’t immerse your incision in water until it is completely healed- usually 6 – 8 weeks
  • don’t play any sports until you are told you can by your surgeon
  • don’t sleep on your stomach
  • don’t put pillows under your knees when you are sleeping on your back or side
  • don’t bend forwards and reach to pull the covers up when you are lying in bed
  • don’t lay on the side of your hip replacement, or sleep on that side – you can sleep on your other side
  • don’t bend your knees, bringing your hip up to the 90 degree point, if you are sleeping on your side

 

Hip replacement recovery tips

 

Before surgery

 

There is a lot you can do to reduce the help that may be needed after hip surgery.

Let’s see what things you can do to be better prepared for hip replacement recovery.

There are many things you can do to prepare –

Your physical health

1. If you are overweight, go on a diet and lose weight before your hip surgery

2. If you have been having trouble with pain for a long time prior to your hip replacement surgery, your leg and hip muscles have probably become a lot weaker. It can be a good idea to do exercises to build your leg and hip strength back up before your surgery – you can find a full set of exercises here – https://www.durangojointreplacements.com/patient-forms/hip-exercises-before-total-hip-surgery.pdf

3. Quit smoking

4. Find the people to drive you to appointments – sort out your drivers ahead

5. Find a carer

6. For the first few weeks after surgery, you will be using a walker to help you to sit down and to stand up, learn how to do this before your surgery

7. Make sure that your carer knows how you are supposed to use the walker correctly with sitting and standing

8. Make sure that you, and your carer, also know how to

  • get on, and off, the bed
  • transfer into a shower onto a shower seat
  • use a bath transfer bench, or bath board

It is easier to learn these things before you have the surgery, and it will eliminate silly mistakes which could cause painful injuries.

 

In the house in general

9. If you have multiple floors, try to arrange it that you will be using just one floor during your recovery to avoid using the stairs

10. Cook, and then freeze, lots of meals in advance, which you can simply heat up after your surgery

11. Buy canned foods, and non-perishables that will last you a month

12. Put all the things you buy in one place at a good height – between your waist and your shoulder height

13. Put together a set of plates, bowls, glasses, mugs and cutlery that you can use after surgery, in a cupboard or on a counter, at the correct height

14. Gather together items you use the most on a daily basis, and put them at a height where you do not have to bend down, or reach up high to get them – do this for each room you will use

15. Make sure that you have a good chair with armrests in each room of your home where you will be spending time – make sure the seat is the right height for you after your hip replacement. If you don’t know how to do that, you can find out in my article “How To Sit In A Chair After A Hip Replacement: An Illustrated Guide”, , which also tells you how to find the correct height, the best type of chair, how long you will need the chair, and a lot more.

16. Set up an area where you will be spending most of your time, and set up a good chair with armrests and table with kettle with tea, coffee or whatever drinks you like, cookies etc., maybe even a microwave

17. Make sure your bed is the right height, and that your floor has a good grip and is not slippery

18. Get a 3-in-1 bedside commode for next to the bed – vital in the first week

19. Use a pouch on your walker, so you can carry lightweight items in it and a fanny pack that you can wear

20. Get a cellphone if you don’t have one, so that you don’t have to be rushing to the phone, and keep it in the fanny pack

21. Remove rugs or obstacles on which you can trip

22. Get as much laundry done as you can in advance

 

In the bathroom

The bathroom is statistically the most dangerous room in the house, but you can take a few precautions to make it a lot safer.

 

23. Put up screw-in grab bars in the shower, by the tub and by the sink

24. If you are using the bathtub, put on a clamp-on vertical bathtub grab bar

25. A solid raised toilet seat with armrests – use your 3-in- 1 bedside commode

26. Use a shower seat/bench/chair, and wash yourself  sitting down, with all the items you need in a caddy next to you

27. Use a handheld shower head to shower

28. Have non-slip mats in the shower, and by the bathtub

After Surgery

 

Posterior, or a lateral hip replacement recovery tips

 

 

Tips for sitting

 

Illustration 1/

29. The 90 degree rule – the illustration above shows the most you should bend your hip after your hip replacement, when seated, standing or lying down – your hip should not bend more than 90 degrees

30. The 90 degree rule is typically observed for up tot 6 to 12 weeks after you had your hip replacement

31. Always sit in a chair with a seat at the same height or higher than the back of your knees, that way your hip will be never be at an angle greater than 90 degrees

 

Illlustration 2/

Illustration 3/

32. The figures, in illustrations 2 and 3, show how you can break the 90 degree rule by leaning forwards when seated –  it results in too much pressure being exerted on the new hip replacement

Illustration 4/

33. Your hip should never be lower than your knees when you are seated as in illustration 4/ – your hip can be higher than the knees, but never lower, and you should not lean forwards or down

34. As the figure, in illustration 4/, tries to stand up, they can only do so by leaning forwards, to gain momentum to lift themselves upwards, which will put a huge amount of pressure on the hip, risking a dislocation

You will be told by your surgeon not to sit on a seat which has your bottom closer to the floor than your knees.

 

Illustration 5

35. Only sit in upright, straight-backed chairs with armrests after your surgery – keep out of sofas, armchairs, soft chairs etc.

36. Armrests on a chair are of great benefit after hip surgery, as they will help you to sit down, and to stand up, correctly, and to maintaining a good posture, without leaning forwards and breaking the 90 degree rule – you can see in illustration 5/, above,  how the figure is pushing up vertically, using the armrests of a chair to stand, or to lower themselves down without bending forwards as they sit

 

37. Another tip for when you stand up from a chair or a raised toilet seat, is to tuck your good leg in under your body a little more than you normally would, as this helps you rise more easily, with increased power, and means that you won’t naturally lean forwards more to get lift

38. As you sit down, and you stand up, you are not going to be load bearing on your operated hip leg

39. For the first few weeks after surgery, you will be using a walker to help you to sit down and to stand up, so it’s a good idea to learn how to do this before you have the hip replacement.

If you would like to learn how to sit down, or stand up, using a walker, after a posterior or lateral hip replacement, I have a fully illustrated article “How To Sit On A Toilet After Hip Surgery: A Detailed Illustrated Guide”. The article also shows you how to sit down and stand up from a seat without armrests, which although not advised, may be your only solution in some situations.

 

Illlustration 6/

Illustration 7/

Illustration 8/

40. When you are sitting down, don’t cross your legs like the figures in the illustrations above, or in any other way – this will typically be a precaution for the first 12 weeks.

 

Tips for sleeping –

41. The best position for sleeping is on your back – put one or two pillows length ways between your legs to stop your feet rolling inwards

42. Sleeping on your side – you can sleep on your side, but not on the side of the operation, and out a pillow between your legs to keep a neutral angle for the hip – you can check these instructions here – https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15645-sleeping-position-tips-after-total-hip-replacement-surgery

43. Have a reacher by your bed – you are not supposed to reach down to pull up your covers when you are lying in bed, so a reacher will help you do that, and it will be very helpful when you sit on the bed to get dressed, as you will see in a minute

44. If your bed is slightly high or the floor is slippery – my mom had problems with her bed being slightly high, but didn’t want me to cut the legs to make it lower, so I put down non-slip PVC rug underlay, taped down with gorilla tape, on the floor where she got on and off the bed, and her feet now grip nicely, and she feels much more solid on them.

45. Keep the walker by your bed at night, so you have it there when you stand up.

46. Have some water by your bed, if you like to take little drinks at night, so you don’t have to go wandering off to get some in the night.

47. If you are going to be spending a lot of time lying down in the daytime on your bed, you may want to set up a table with books, snacks and even a kettle with water bottles and tea or coffee.

Standing and walking

 

48. Remember, DON’T bend down to pick things up – use a reacher.

49. Stand with your toes pointing ahead of you or very slightly to the outside, but not inwards – this is to avoid twisting the hip.

50. As you walk, if you want to turn a corner or if you hear something and want to turn, don’t pivot on your foot – if you wish to turn you do so by taking small steps.

51. If you need to stand for a longer period of time, use a walker to support you, or crutches forearm crutches are great for standing for extended periods of time. I had to use crutches for a couple of years, and I found these to be the best of all the mobility aids, but they may not be too easy for older adults with weaker shoulders.

52. If you need to do a task at a counter in the kitchen, you can use the walker just to help you keep your balance

Icing and exercise tips

53. Icing can be done for around two weeks to reduce your swelling and pain – 3 to 4 times a day is a minimum, and it should last 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If you want to know lots about icing, you can find an article all about it by PeerWell here – https://peerwell.co/blog/expert-icing-after-joint-replacement-surgery/

54. If you check the article above, you will see that they recommend doing the icing lying on your side.

55. If you want to know what my used  – a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, which I just kept popping back into the freezer when Mom was done with it.

56. Do your exercises as you are advised by your medical team, and do them as much as you are allowed to. Walking and the physio exercises have a huge impact on how quickly, and how well, you recover from your surgery.

57. For my elderly mom, we just used some very cheap resistance bands when she needed to up the resistance on the exercises.

58. Get your carer to sit there and read through the exercises with you, and to encourage you to do them – I had an accident years ago, and have always had to do exercises every day since, and it is important that you do them correctly, and having a person check that you are in the right position etc. can be a great help – we all forget some of the things we are told.

59. Don’t rush the exercises, do them smoothly and breath as you do them to increase the benefit – don’t hold your breath as you do them – stay relaxed.

60. As well as your exercises which you have been given by your medical team, you can wave your arms around while you are sitting – don’t bend forwards – and this will increase your blood flow and help with your healing, and if you like, you can get a little arm pedaling machine.

61. Don’t stay in the same position for too long, get up and walk around as much as you have been told that you can to both keep the joint from stiffening and also to keep your circulation pumping away.

Helpful devices  for your hip replacement recovery

Because of all the precautions that you are going to be taking with a posterior or lateral approach hip replacement, you will find that washing yourself, getting dressed, and going to the toilet are going to pose the most difficulty. This section is going to give you an idea of the assistive devices there are, and how y=they can help you.

 

General –

62. A walker

63. A reacher – you can get 3 or 4 of these and put one by the bed, another in the bathroom and one where you will be sitting, as they indispensable for the first few weeks.

64. A leg lifter – this is an aid which can be really helpful for getting in and out of bed if you are on your own, and it is as cheap as dirt !

65. Non-slip PVC rug underlay – I use this on the floor, taped down, where my mom gets on and off the bed – it is cheap and lasts about a year before I put down a fresh piece.

66. A cane – you will be given an adjustable cane, or two, after surgery so that you can transition from the walker to two canes, one cane and then no cane at all. Just make sure the ferules, or tips, are in good shape, because if you wear them through, it is then usually metal on the ground or floor, and if it is a wet floor you can go flying, as I did on numerous occasions on crutches when people bumped into me, on a wet day.

67. Crutches – I prefer the forearm type, but for older adults the type which go under the armpit may be easier.

68. Upright chairs with armrests and a firm correct height seat – the seat height of the chair you use equal to, or slightly higher than, the back of your knee where it bends, and you should not use chairs with a seat lower than this.

 

How to measure the correct chair seat height after a hip replacement

Toileting and personal care –

69. An open front toilet seat – get a raised toilet seat which has a seat with an open front which is designed to facilitate wiping etc.

70. Wiping aids – toilet wands – these are long handled gadgets with a gripper, of some kind, on the end to which you can attach wipes or toilet paper.

71. Handheld bidet spray – these are water sprays which are simply fitted to the toilet, and can be used for cleaning rather than wiping, all without twisting, or bending.

72. Bidet toilet seat – this a toilet seat with a bidet built into it, or a bidets unit which fits under your existing seat.

73. Raised toilet seat – most people will be advised to get a raised toilet seat to increase the height of their toilet, and if I had any say in the matter, you would only get one with legs and armrests !

 

How to find the correct seat height for a raised toilet seat

The correct height for your raised toilet seat is found by measuring the height of the rim of the bowl of your toilet from the floor, and subtracting that from the height of the back of your knee, where it bends, from the floor.

The green arrow above indicates how the size of the raised toilet seat required.

Your hip should not be lower than your knee when you are seated on the toilet.

Toileting and personal care –

69. An open front toilet seat – get a raised toilet seat which has a seat with an open front which is designed to facilitate wiping etc.

70. Wiping aids – toilet wands – these are long handled gadgets with a gripper, of some kind, on the end to which you can attach wipes or toilet paper.

71. Handheld bidet spray – these are water sprays which are simply fitted to the toilet, and can be used for cleaning rather than wiping, all without twisting, or bending.

72. Bidet toilet seat – this a toilet seat with a bidet built into it, or a bidets unit which fits under your existing seat.

73. Raised toilet seat – most people will be advised to get a raised toilet seat to increase the height of their toilet, and if I had any say in the matter, you would only get one with legs and armrests !

74. 3-in-1 bedside commode – this can be indispensable in the bedroom just after surgery, when you will be very slow to get to the bathroom, also at night by the bed, and later can be moved to the bathroom and uses as a raised toilet seat.

75. Shower chair, or bench – post surgery for showering, due to the fall risk, you will probably be advised to use a shower chair, or bench, so that you are sitting. It is also a good idea to put everything you need in the shower placed next to this at the right height to avoid stretching around to get things.

76. Shower walker – once you can stand a little, you can get a shower walker if you don’t enjoy the sitting down and showering.

77. A bath board – you can buy a bath board, which is placed on top of the sides of your bathtub, and you then sit on that with just your feet in the water – you can use the leg lifter I mentioned earlier to help you lift your leg up over the side of the tub as you transfer.

78. Bath transfer bench – this is a type of seat which will have legs both inside and outside the bathtub, and has a sliding seat which ultimately positions you over the bathtub with your fit in the water below. You would again you something like a leg lifter to help you get your operated hip leg up and over the side of the tub.

79. Long handled sponge – this is a sponge on a very long handle for washing yourself, designed to help you avoid reaching and bending down.

80. Non-slip rubber mats – put these down anywhere you nay be standing in water, like the shower.

81. Grab bars – you should be screwing these on to the walls of the shower, around the toilet and next to the bathtub, so that there is something to hold on to for stability.

82. A toilet safety frame – if you do not have a raised toilet seats with armrests, or grab bars, you should consider a toilet safety frame, which is basically a big set of armrests for sitting down on the toilet.

83. A towel robe belt or a towel cut into strips – this is for drying between your toes as you can’t reach down, you pull them through with the reacher.

84. A hair dryer – as well as drying your hair, you can dry your toes and feet with a hair dryer without bending down.

85. Disposable commode liners – to keep things simple and to make life easier, I would use commode liners on your bedside commode – you just pop them into the commode pail with an absorbent pad, and once the person has been to the toilet, you tie up the liner and throw it in the trash for landfill.

If you don’t know anything about bedside commodes and disposable commode liners, and need to learn a little more, I have an article all about that, the different brands, buying in bulk, and how to make your own. You can find the article here – “How To Dispose Of Commode Liners ?“.

I also have a couple of articles, which deal with toileting and personal care after a hip replacement in more depth, and you can find those here –

“Toileting After A Hip Replacement: How To Do It Safely ?”, and, “How To Wipe Your Bottom After A Hip Replacement ?

Dressing

86. Elastic shoe laces – if you don’t want to change to slip-on shoes, you can just put elastic shoe laces into your shoes and tie them up. Now you can put them on like slip-ons, using the shoe horn.

87. Slip-on shoes – these are the easiest type of shoes to put on after a hip replacement. It is best to get a shoe with the lowest heel possible, and a wide heel, as well. Once you have had your surgery you will place them on the floor with the reacher, and put them on using the long handled shoe horn, unless you have a carer to do this for you of course.

88. A long handled shoe horn – this is exactly what it sounds like – a shoe horn with a very long handle so you don’t have to bend over to put shoes on.

89. A dressing stick – this is a stick with a hook on it to help put clothes on, and to pick them up – it also helps when you can’t reach items.

 

Anterior hip replacement recovery tips

 

After an anterior hip replacement, you will be told to take a few precautions, avoiding getting into certain positions for up to 6 – 12 weeks, but really life is much easier than after the two other types of hip replacement.

All the advice for preparing for a posterior or lateral hip replacement, applies to anterior hip replacements as well –

  • the setting up of the house to make life easier, but for a far shorter period of time – maybe 1 week to 10 days
  • buying food for a week or two
  • preparing some meals and freezing them
  • icing your hip
  • strengthening your leg and hip muscles before surgery
  • dieting if you are overweight, so the surgery is easier to support
  • following your surgeons’ advice on any exercises – although some say none are needed
  • you may want to be more careful with very low chairs, but none of the bending forwards applies, unless your surgeon has told you so
  • you will be walking much more and more quickly than the other types of replacements as well, so you probably won’t need to set up a special place to sit and have everything around you as you will be mobile
  • if you are having trouble with dressing or washing, you can of course use any of the devices I listed in the last section until you are more comfortable
  • I would go through the house and remove any rugs or other obstacles which could cause you to fall, as your hip could be damaged as well
  • with regard to the bathroom, I would consider the grab bars in the shower, and over the tub
  • I would also consider sitting to bathe for maybe 7 to 10 days, just until you are used to new sensations in the hip and leg
  • you will need someone to take you to appointments for the first two weeks
  • you will need a carer to help with cooking, possibly for a week or so,
  • if you are elderly, you may need to double the time needed to go through the different stages

 

You shouldn’t get into various positions –

90. With all things, even if you are told you can do them, if it causes a lot of pain, go easy or don’t do it.

91. You want to be careful about bending and stretching back in such a way which pushes your pelvis forwards, this is known as a hip extension, and you don’t want to do this

92. Although you can have sexual intercourse as soon as it is comfortable, you don’t want to do vigorous forward thrusting.

93. The best sleeping position is on your back, and put a pillow between your legs to stop the hips from twisting.

94. Don’t cross your legs when lying down or sleeping

95. Never ever sleep or lay down on your stomach – this will twist the hip outwards.

96. Although you can use a recliner – be careful not to use one which is very low and really soft and spongy.

97. Don’t sleep in a recliner – this is not good for the hip and can cause it to go stiff, and harder to straighten out afterwards.

98. If possible use chairs with armrests in the beginning, so you don’t strain your hip.

Hip replacement recovery week by week

Posterior and lateral  hip replacement recovery week by week

This is a very rough timeline, everyone is different, and only your surgeon can tell you when you can, and cannot, start to do the different activities.

 

1st Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

 

  • walking starts on the first day with a walker
  • showering regularly after 48 hrs
  • you will be walking with a walker

 

2nd Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

 

  • you will probably still walk with a walker or with canes
  • you will be doing all your physical therapy exercises
  • you will be able to bathe on a transfer bench or bath board
  • you will be able to shower using a shower seat
  • icing will stop in at the end of the 2nd week
  • you may be allowed to go upstairs

 

3rd Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

 

  • between 3 and 6 weeks, you should start walking unaided

 

4th – 6th Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

  • somewhere is this period, you may start to drive again
  • as soon as your incision is healed, you can immerse it in water – typically around 6 weeks

 

6th – 12th Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

  • you will stop using the raised toilet seats somewhere between 6 and 10 weeks
  • typically in the 6 to 12 week period you will be allowed to bend down
  • you will be allowed to tie your shoes in the 6 to 12 week period
  • in this time frame, you will be allowed to sit in a normal chair again
  • you are advised to wait 6 – 8 weeks before you have sexual intercourse
  • somewhere between 6 – 12 weeks post surgery, you will typically have your precautions lifted
  • you will be allowed to return to work around 6 weeks – office jobs
  • you may be allowed to return to golf and bowling with 6 weeks of surgery

 

 

10th -12th Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

  •  you should be returning to regular day-today activities – walking, slow dancing
  • you will return to work for manual jobs in this time period

 

After 12th Week after posterior and lateral hip replacements

  •  you may be allowed to kneel down
  • by now your precautions should have been lifted
  • you will typically be allowed to start swimming

Anterior hip replacement recovery week by week

This is a rough timeline, and only your surgeon can tell you when you can, and cannot, start to do the different activities.

 

1-2 days after an anterior hip replacement

 

 

  • walking starts on the first day with a walker
  • basic exercises – not all doctors give exercises
  • showering regularly after 48 hrs
  • depending on stability, you may still need the walker indoors
  • still using a walker when outside in public areas

 

5-7 days after an anterior hip replacement

 

  • you may be having a follow-up with your surgeon
  • your medication is assessed
  • you may be allowed to start driving – depend on which side the hip replacement is, and also on the type of car – stick or automatic
  • typically still using the walker in public areas

10-14 days after an anterior hip replacement

 

  • you should have come off the walker in public if you are still using it
  • most patients begin to up their activity levels – some can start putting or chipping if they play golf
  • at the two-week mark, you may start physical therapy if it is needed (not all surgeons suggest physical therapy)
  • return to desk work

3rd Week after an anterior hip replacement

 

  • many patients will be walking very well without walkers or crutches
  • return to driving, but it may take up to 6 weeks and cannot be done while you are still taking (narcotic/opioid pain medications)
  • normal daily activities should have been resumed
  • for golfers, you may start chipping and putting

4th – 6th Week after an anterior hip replacement

  • after 4 weeks (time for wound to heal) you can go in a swimming pool or hot tub
  • end of anterior hip precautions during this time
  • stiffness and swelling begin to dissipate
  • after 6 weeks some surgeons allow exercises like regular gym exercise, doubles tennis, aerobics (low impact), hiking, rowing, biking, golf and weight lifting
  • at 6 weeks, return to driving if you had the operation on the right hip

 

10th -12th Weeksafter an anterior hip replacement

  • all patients should be back to work except for heavy lifting or manual labor
  • patients should have resumed normal activities
  • home exercise is recommended to keep strengthening the joint

 

12th Week and onwards after an anterior hip replacement

 

  • some surgeons advise 3 – 6 months before sports activities
  • you may be able to return to heavy lifting and manual jobs
  • you will be told to avoid high impact sports such as jogging and basketball, which can damage the hip replacement

Sources for this article –

https://www.edwinsu.com/anterior-hip-replacement-post-op-instructions.html

https://www.newyorkhipknee.com/faqs/total-hip-replacement-faqs/

https://www.stefankreuzermd.com/anterior-hip-replacement.html

https://www.orthonewengland.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/156/2018/02/KENNON-DISCHARGE-INSTRUCTIONS-HIP-2016.pdf

https://www.nwh.org/classes-and-resources/patient-guides-and-forms/joint-replacement-surgery-patient-guide/joint-replacement-faqs

https://www.ozorthopaedics.com.au/blog/how-long-after-a-hip-replacement-can-i-tie-my-shoe-laces-23710.html

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/activities-after-hip-replacement/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17102-hip-replacement

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15645-sleeping-position-tips-after-total-hip-replacement-surgery

https://scottsdalejointcenter.com/patient-education/anterior-total-hip-replacement-precautions/

https://www.arthritis-health.com/surgery/hip-surgery/anterior-hip-replacement-dos-and-donts

https://ortho.duke.edu/sites/ortho.duke.edu/files/u18/Anterior%20Hip%20Precautions.pdf

https://www.sehat.com/sleeping-positions-after-anterior-hip-replacement

https://www.henrymayo.com/documents/CP-Anterior-Hip-Complete.pdf

https://www.emersonsgreenhospital.co.uk/gardening-after-a-total-hip-or-knee-replacement-professional-advice-from-physiotherapy/

https://orthospecialtyclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/OSC-Gait-Instructions.pdf

https://www.newportcentersurgical.com/orthopedic-surgery/how-long-is-recovery-from-direct-anterior-hip-replacement/

https://rothmanortho.com/stories/blog/total-hip-replacement-recovery

https://greaterphoenixorthopedics.com/blog/what-to-expect-after-anterior-hip-replacement/

I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com

I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.

Gareth Williams

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