Hip replacement surgery is becoming a common procedure for people with chronic hip pain or mobility issues. So once the surgery is done, how long will it take to get back to an active life? In this video, Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, NC, explains what a patient can expect once they are out of the operating room. Also, which approach to total hip replacement surgery has the shorter recovery time.
Summary of video:
After you have a hip replacement operation, how long is the recovery time? How long does it take to get back to your life?
The short answer is three months. Three months for the average senior citizen - maybe a little slower if there's other health factors.
The first postoperative month is the toughest. That;'s when the patient moves really slow, they’re tired, they’re sore. Every patient is a little different and much depends on the patient’s health and fitness before the surgery. Some people get back to work within a week or less, but that is unusual.
Back to the hospital. After the hip surgery, most patients go home the same day or the next day. The anterior approach is a quicker, safer way of doing the surgery - there are a reduced number of dislocations and less muscle damage.
There are other ways to do hip surgery which require longer recovery times. For instance, the lateral approach is used for very difficult hip surgeries. There is more muscle damage to do the lateral approach to the hip. There is also the posterior approach which involves detaching tendons from the bone and then stitching them back. All require more healing time.
So with the anterior approach most patients can expect to be back at work within a month to a month and a half. Some people will need three months to get back to work. The better physical shape before the surgery, the quicker the patient will bounce back after. Most surgeons push patients to get into the pool or on stationary bike and lose a little weight before surgery. Better fitness guarantees the patient will get back to life quicker.