Recovering from hip replacement surgery

Although every patient recovers differently, here are some of the things you may expect in the days and weeks following hip replacement surgery.

Immediately following surgery

Your orthopaedic surgeon, nurses and physical therapists will closely monitor your recovery progress.

Your hospital stay will typically last from 1 to 4 days, depending on the speed of your recovery. If your hip replacement is done on an outpatient basis, you will go home on the same day as surgery.3

Once you’ve been moved to a regular hospital room, the physical therapist will recommend certain exercises for your replaced hip.

Initially, activity may cause discomfort, so your care team may recommend pain medication prior to physical therapy. Gradually, your pain medication will be reduced, the IV will be removed, your diet will progress to solids, and you will become increasingly mobile.

Your physical therapist will talk with you about how to continue your progress after your hospital stay. They will also go over exercises to help improve your mobility.

An occupational therapist may show you how to best perform daily activities, such as putting on socks, reaching for household items, and bathing.

A case manager will discuss plans for your return home and will ensure that you have all the necessary help to support a successful recovery.

Once you get home

In the weeks following surgery, certain limitations are placed on every patient’s activities. Using a cane or walker may be necessary for several weeks.

Call your doctor to report or discuss any concerns

Ask your doctor about how to care for the wound

Ask your doctor about any unusual symptoms that you should look out for after surgery. This may include, but is not limited to, pain in your leg unrelated to your incision, persistent fever, severe swelling, or drainage from the wound.

Movement is essential to a healthy recovery. Once light activity becomes possible, it’s important to incorporate healthy exercise into your recovery program. Recommended activities include gradually increased walking and light household activities, such as climbing stairs. Work with your physical therapist to determine what’s right for you.

Life after total hip replacement

Hip replacement has serious risks. However, after the initial recovery from surgery, most people can resume normal routine activities within the first 3 to 6 weeks of their total hip replacement.1 When fully recovered, the majority of individuals who have joint replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction in joint pain and a significant improvement in their ability to participate in daily activities.2

It’s important to know that hip replacement surgery will not allow you to do more than you could before joint problems developed. Also, athletic activities that place excessive stress on the replaced joint, such as basketball, distance running, contact sports or frequent jumping, should be avoided. Your doctor will work with you to determine the most appropriate level of activity for you.

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Treatment: Total Hip Replacement. OrthoInfo. orthoinfo.aaos .org/en/treatment/total-hip-replacement. Accessed 9 May 2023.
  2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Before and after total joint replacement. OrthoInfo. https://orthoinfo Accessed 9 May 2023.
  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Activities After Hip Replacement. OrthoInfo. https://orthoinfo.aaos .org/en/recovery/activities-after-hip-replacement/ Accessed 9 May 2023.
Important information

U.S. Modular Hip Settlement Program

Stryker's Voluntary Recall of Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems

Hip Replacements

Hip joint replacement is intended for use in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, fracture of the neck of the femur or functional deformity of the hip.

Joint replacement surgery is not appropriate for patients with certain types of infections, any mental or neuromuscular disorder which would create an unacceptable risk of prosthesis instability, prosthesis fixation failure or complications in postoperative care, compromised bone stock, skeletal immaturity, severe instability of the joint, or excessive body weight.

Like any surgery, joint replacement surgery has serious risks which include, but are not limited to, pain, infection, bone fracture, change in the treated leg length (hip), joint stiffness, hip joint fusion, amputation, peripheral neuropathies (nerve damage), circulatory compromise (including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs)), genitourinary disorders (including kidney failure), gastrointestinal disorders (including paralytic ileus (loss of intestinal digestive movement)), vascular disorders (including thrombus (blood clots), blood loss, or changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm), bronchopulmonary disorders (including emboli, stroke or pneumonia), heart attack, and death.

Implant related risks which may lead to a revision of the implant include dislocation, loosening, fracture, nerve damage, heterotopic bone formation (abnormal bone growth in tissue), wear of the implant, metal and/or foreign body sensitivity, soft tissue imbalance, osteolysis (localized progressive bone loss), audible sounds during motion, and reaction to particle debris. Hip implants may not provide the same feel or performance characteristics experienced with a normal healthy joint.

The information presented is for educational purposes only. Speak to your doctor to decide if joint replacement surgery is appropriate for you. Individual results vary and not all patients will return to the same activity level. The lifetime of any joint replacement is limited and depends on several factors like patient weight and activity level. Your doctor will counsel you about strategies to potentially prolong the lifetime of the device, including avoiding high-impact activities, such as running, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. It is important to closely follow your doctor’s instructions regarding post-surgery activity, treatment and follow-up care. Ask your doctor if a joint replacement is right for you.

Stryker Corporation or its other divisions or other corporate affiliated entities own, use or have applied for the following trademarks or service marks: Mako, Mobile Bearing Hip, Stryker, Together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners or holders.


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