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What Should I Expect After Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

What Should I Expect After Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

So the hip replacement surgery is done, now what?  Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina explains what happens next.  He discusses what happens in the hospital and then what to expect in rehab and back at home.  

Summary of video:

Immediately after surgery you are taken to the recovery room. Within two hours you're moved to your hospital room and the surgeon’s goal is to get you out of bed within 3-4 hours after surgery. The sooner you're up, the quicker you recover. 

Dr. Albright uses the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery which is the muscle sparing operation.  The anterior approach makes it easier to get up. Most people are up the same day then home the next day which is a real advantage to the anterior approach.

The majority of people go home one day after surgery.  Patients usually depart after receiving physical therapy, learning how to go up and down stairs, and getting themselves to the bathroom. Some patients take longer to master these skills and may stay in the hospital additional days.

Then when you go home what should you expect?  In most cases physical therapy will come to your house. The therapy is straightforward. With the anterior approach there are no restrictions on movement. On the first day you can squat, bend, or tie your shoes. That's another big advantage to the anterior approach to the hip for surgery.

Therapy will have you walk at home.  They'll show you some exercises, work on stairs, and  work on getting from a walker to a cane (the sooner the better).  After a week or two, you'll see the surgeon in their office and if all is good, move therapy to a therapy gym. You’ll get on a stationary bike and get working harder with therapy. Therapy is straightforward. It's walking and moving your muscles and that's the main part after surgery.

For elderly folks, 70-years-old or older, you can expect a two to three month healing process. For younger than that, it's 1-2 month healing process. Then after that, you feel good. The hip replacement becomes part your body. You even forget it's there. Which is the beauty of this technology.

This is good research and a good technology. So those are the main points about what you can expect after hip replacement operation.

For more information, contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.

  • ABOS
  • AAOS
  • NCOA
  • PractEssentials