Most people recover from hip surgery resuming their normal, day-to-day activities within three to six weeks. However, those entering their hip labral tear surgery recovery period can expect the process to be longer.
Below, we delve into the typical usual hip surgery recovery time, covering general and specific cases, and what stages of the recovery process will take place each week.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hip Surgery?
While recovery time varies from person to person, depending on various factors such as age and lifestyle, it helps to be prepared for the amount of time and level of difficulty associated with hip surgery recovery time. Here’s an overview of your hip replacement recovery week by week:
Check in to your hospital with bags prepared for a two- to three-day stay. The procedure will then last several hours. Once it’s done, you’ll be taken to a recovery room as you wake up from the anesthesia before being moved to your hospital room.
If you had your surgery early in the morning, there’s also a high chance you will start physical therapy in the afternoon. You’ll also be asked to move your new hip joint by sitting on the edge of the bed, standing, and walking a bit. Otherwise, you may have to wait a day before starting this phase.
Three to Four Days After Surgery
An occupational therapist will continue to work with you on the following:
Doing daily exercises at home: You’ll likely be provided instructions on how to perform the exercises safely in your own time.
Modifying daily tasks: These include getting in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, in and out of the car, etc.
Using tools and equipment during your recovery: Examples are a raised toilet seat, cane and walker, and a reaching device.
It will also be tough and painful to go back to your daily activities at this point. This is where it's helpful to have a solid support system that can assist you in your path to recovery. You may need assistance with tasks such as bathing, cooking, cleaning the house, etc. Supervised physical therapy is also a must.
If you don’t have adequate support during your recovery period, you may have to stay in a rehabilitation facility after leaving the hospital.
One to Two Weeks
Caring for your incision wound is crucial during this period. You should follow your physician’s instructions on the proper cleaning and warning signs. For instance, you should keep the incision dry at all times. This means relying on sponge baths until the staples are removed.
Watch for the first signs of infection, including fever, redness, or oozing from the incision. Seek immediate attention if you notice any of these.
Continue moving as much as possible according to your physical therapist’s instructions. Movement and light activity will help prevent stiffness and speed up your recovery.
By the 10th to 14th day, your hip orthopedic surgeon should remove the stapes from your surgery, and you will be able to take a full bath again. You may also start to walk without a cane or walker if you require one.
Three to Six Weeks
By remaining consistent with your physical therapy sessions, you can return to your normal life within this period. Specifically, you can go back to the following activities:
You can start work again by the second week after surgery if your job requires minimal activity. However, if it involves strenuous tasks, such as lifting heavy things, you may need to spend up to six weeks in recovery before returning.
If you had left hip surgery, wait for approximately one or two weeks before driving again. If you had right hip surgery, you should wait at least four weeks. Be sure to ease into it, as taking the wheel may be postponed if you are under medication that may impair your coordination.
Do sports that require minimal activity, such as golf, whenever you feel comfortable. On the other hand, stand back until the sixth week if you’re into contact sports. Wait for your incision to completely heal (also around the sixth week) before getting into the pool.
A Note on Hip Labral Tear Surgery Recovery
The above may not apply if you just had hip labral tear surgery. So, how long does it take to recover from hip surgery of this kind?
First, labral tear refers to the tearing of your labrum, a soft tissue covering your hip joint socket. This condition can cause your hip joint to lose lubrication, making it difficult and even painful to move.
Hip labral tear surgery aims to repair this while dealing with the pain and improving your mobility.
Doing one-on-one physical therapy sessions will be critical during the first four months you spend in recovery, post-surgery. The exercises target your strength, endurance, and stability.
After four months, you can continue your home exercise program on your own. But, ensure that you maintain a line of communication with your PT if you have questions or concerns.
Now that you know the answer to “how long does it take to recover from hip surgery?” you can prepare your mind and body for the surgery. You can also look forward to your hip replacement recovery week by week.
However, it’s important not to restrict yourself to sticking with one timeline since different factors make the schedule vary from person to person.
To ensure complete healing, start by working with a doctor with proven expertise in hip replacement surgery. Dr. Benjamin Domb, specializing in sports medicine, hip arthroscopy and hip replacement, has been performing these procedures for many years. With his extensive background, our clinic can provide you with the care and advice you need before, during, and after your surgery.
Contact us today to discuss your options and bring your hip’s performance back to normal as soon as possible.