Hip replacement surgery is a complicated procedure. It not only involves skill and expertise from the surgeon but also compliance and the right attitude by the patient. If you're about to face a hip replacement surgery, it would be beneficial to know what will happen afterward. Here we will give you a step by step recovery timeline:
The surgery: The operation will last about three hours. Recovery from anesthesia will take an additional two hours. Once out of recovery you will be fed a liquid diet and start a regime of intravenous medications to prevent infection, resolve pain and reduce the formation of blood clots.
Day 1 and 2: You will use a walker or crutches to move around. Physical therapists will visit you and instruct you on what exercises to do to regain your movement. You will start oral meds instead of intravenous.
Day 3: In most cases, walking should be easy enough to do it without special assistance. If everything goes well, you will be discharged from the hospital.
Day 4 to 9: You will continue physical therapy at home. The therapist will give you exercises to perform and will regularly visit to track your progress. Move as much as possible throughout this period. Keep watch for signs of infection such as redness, fever, and wound drainage.
Day 10 to 14: If there is no infection or complication in your incision, the staples will be removed. When that happens, you will be able to take a bath once again. The Physical Therapist will increase distances and repetitions of exercises to build strength and endurance.
Week 3 to 6: After 3 to 6 weeks, you will be able to drive once again. The exact time will depend on which leg the implant was inserted. You will be able to perform almost any light activity and walk without crutches. At home physical therapy will stop, but additional treatment at a therapy center is usually recommended.
Week 10+: After this time, most patients can return to their normal activities. Complete recovery has a lot of variables such as fitness before surgery, post-surgical complications, and adherence to physical therapy. Keeping in contact with the surgeon and physical therapist will control expectations.
This timeline is not an absolute rule. In many cases, an unexpected setback or a speedy recovery will break these guidelines, and you will recover faster or need more time than expected. Keep in contact with your doctor and follow the instructions carefully to improve your chances of a quick recovery.