Timeline: Hip Replacement Surgery
Recovery from hip replacement surgery can be a long process. What should you expect? Everyone's case is different, but here's a rough outline of what will happen after hip replacement surgery -- from the day of the operation to three months later.
Day of Your Hip Replacement Surgery
- You'll check in several hours before your scheduled surgery. Expect to stay for 3 to 4 days.
- The procedure will probably last about 2 to 3 hours.
- Recovery from anesthesia will probably take about 2 hours.
- Once you're fully awake, you'll go to your hospital room.
- You will likely stick to a liquid diet for the rest of the day.
- You will need medication to help with pain and to prevent infection and blood clots.
1 to 2 Days After Hip Replacement Surgery
- You'll get out of bed -- with assistance -- and start moving around using a walker or crutches.
- You will see physical or occupational therapists. They will help you learn how to move safely with minimal pain. You probably won't be able to do certain movements for a few weeks.
- The day after surgery, you can usually begin eating a normal diet.
- You'll see many different people from the hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, and case workers.
- You'll likely shift from IV drugs to oral pain medications.
3 Days After Hip Replacement Surgery
- Walking will likely be easier. You may be able to walk to the bathroom without help.
- You may be discharged from the hospital if you are doing well. Some people stay longer if they have complications.
- Depending on your situation, you may go straight home or to a rehab facility, where you'll recover.
4+ Days After Hip Replacement Surgery
- Follow your doctor's instructions for taking care of your incision. Keep the area dry and stick to sponge baths to prevent infection.
- Report any signs of infection -- such as increased redness or fever -- to your doctor right away.
- Keep doing the suggested physical therapy exercises.
- You may get home visits from nurses and the physical therapist.
10 to 14 Days After Hip Replacement Surgery
- The staples from your incision will be removed. At this point, you can start taking baths or showers.
3 to 6 Weeks After Hip Replacement Surgery
- You may be able to do most light activities. You'll likely be able to walk without a walker or crutches.
- You may be able to drive again
10 to 12 Weeks After Hip Replacement Surgery
- You may be able to return to all of your normal activities.