How long does it take to recover from a hip replacement?

hip replacement recovery

Any patient contemplating a total hip replacement procedure will want to know when they will be back up on their feet.  The question ‘how long does it take to recover from a hip replacement’, is probably one of the most commonly asked in Mr Simon Bridle’s London hip surgery consultations.

There is no definitive answer, as each individual differs in terms of their recovery.  Typically patients return to fairly normal day to day activities, including driving, by 6 weeks, but it takes more like three to six months to get back to their normal routine, including sports.  It can even take a bit longer to get back to strenuous sports like skiing.  Successful surgery allows patients to embrace the activities that their hip pain has prevented them from enjoying for many years.

Hip replacement recovery: enhanced recovery

The first phase of patients recovery is while they are in hospital, usually only for 2 or 3 days.  We focus on early mobilization, with techniques to reduce pain and get people back to feeling normal as quickly as possible.

All of Mr Simon Bridle’s patients that are seen at the Fortius Joint Replacement Centre (FJRC) at BUPA Cromwell Hospital follow a standardised Enhanced Recovery Pathway that aims to transform the short-term recovery experience for hip replacement patients. The goals are to ensure a quicker recovery and improved outcome by improving all aspects of the recovery process, from pain management, surgical technique, patient education and return to mobility.

Hip replacement recovery: what happens after I go home? 

Patients go home with walking support, but generally are managing without by 4 to 6 weeks and by then people don’t usually need any painkillers.  The physiotherapists provide an exercise programme for individual patients and physiotherapy is also usually arranged as an outpatient, to supervise rehabilitation.  You can expect to be getting back to a fairly normal day to day life by 6 weeks, including driving.  Light sports like tennis and golf are usually possible by 3 months, but it can be a least 6 months before people get back to strenuous sports like skiing.

Hip replacement recovery: prepare to succeed

The preparation period can be as important as the rehabilitation stage and increase the chances of a successful and quicker recovery. This can cover everything from preparing your home environment and ensuring you have adequate assistance when you return home. Hip pain and lack of mobility may be the reason you’re undergoing joint replacement surgery, but doing your hip exercises and practising mobility techniques beforehand can be invaluable.

Mr Simon Bridle’s physio team at the BUPA Cromwell Hospital are now running a pre-assessment ‘joint school’, to prepare patients for surgery, teach them pre-op exercises etc, which patients find very helpful.

For more information on hip replacement recovery and you, call 020 8947 9524 to book a consultation.