Talking About Sports Injuries and Orthopedic Care Practices

What To Expect After A Total Hip Replacement Surgery

A total hip replacement is a major surgery, so if you need to have this procedure done, it is important to be informed. Understanding the recovery process after a hip replacement surgery is a good way to help ensure that you have a smooth recovery. If you have a hip replacement surgery scheduled in the future, you can expect the following after the procedure is completed: 

Hospital Stay

After your hip replacement surgery, you will need to spend a few days in the hospital so you can be observed by your orthopedic surgeon and nurses. During your hospital stay, your pain will be controlled with narcotics. Do not hesitate to inform your surgeon or nurses if you are experiencing pain after medication is administered -- they can adjust the amount given in order to make you feel comfortable.

While you are in the hospital, a physical therapist will begin working with you. Participating in physical therapy is essential in order to prevent blood clots, minimize scar tissue, and help strengthen the muscles that will support your new hip joint.

First Days Home

It is in your best interest to arrange for a friend or family member to be available to help care for you the first several days that you are at home. Carefully follow your surgeon's discharge directions, keep the surgical incision clean, and watch for any signs of infection. For several weeks after your surgery, you will need to use a walker or crutches to help support your hip, but do not begin trying to walk with crutches or a walker until your surgeon says that it is okay. 

While recovering from hip replacement at home, sleep on your back or on your side. If you choose to sleep on your back, make sure that your legs are slightly apart; for side-sleeping, place pillows between your knees. It is important to not put any stress or pressure on your hip as it is healing.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy does not end in the hospital. After a hip replacement surgery, physical therapy is extremely important for the first several weeks and months after surgery. Make sure that you attend all scheduled physical therapy sessions, and complete the exercises that your physical therapist assigns for you to do at home. Fully complying with physical therapy during your recovery will help ensure a better outcome and you are more likely to recovery in a more timely manner. 

To learn more about recovering from a hip replacement surgery, check out sites like and talk to your orthopedic surgeon.