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How Long is the Recovery Time for Hip Replacement Surgery?

Written by Knees and Hips on June 21, 2014

Our population’s life expediency is increasing and because of that, more and more people now need to have hip replacement surgeries. Once a patient is told that they need to have this type of procedure performed on them, the first question out of their mouth is how long will it take for me to recovery and be able to return to my normal lifestyle?

Unfortunately, even the specialists that carry out these types of operations all the time cannot provide a specific time frame before the surgery is actually performed. Each and every patient is different, and there are many factors that go into determining an individual’s exact recovery time. That being said, most people can start participating in the activities that they usually enjoy sometime between 1 to 6 months after the surgery is completed.

Most patients are provided a walker to help stabilize them while they attempt to walk 1 to 2 days after the surgery. If everything goes fine, and they are able to move around on their own with the walker, the patient will then be checked out of the hospital 3 days after the surgery.

The next step in the recovery process is to wean the patient off the pain killers they have been given to help them sleep at night and not experience pain when they move around. In most cases, that takes a week or less after the surgery. The patient next needs to gradually start walking longer distances to build up their strength and get used to their new hip. This period is called the “Short-Term” recovery process, and it usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks.

The “Long-Term” recovery process encompasses the healing of both the internal soft tissue and the surgical wounds. During this period, the doctors want to see their patients return to work and participate in as many of their normal physical activities as possible. If no complications set in, and the patient is a willing participant in their recovery process, the total time for them to get back to normal should be somewhere around 6 months.

However, if the patient becomes depressed and does not work at regaining their strength as quickly as possible, the recovery time can be much longer than six months. Your physician should be able to provide you a fairly accurate estimate of your recovery time after your surgery, based on your physical and mental condition, as well as your age.