Say you need hip replacement surgery. Naturally, one of the first questions you want answered is when you will be fully recovered from the surgery. Unfortunately, the answer is that you will not return to your normal activities overnight. But recovery is not all that challenging, if you approach it correctly. Full recovery usually takes anywhere from one to six months, although complete recovery may take as long as a year, depending on your fitness level before surgery, your weight, your age and your dedication to a physical rehabilitation routine after the surgery. For most people, recovery proceeds quickly for the first three months, and then begins to taper off, with improvement occurring at a much slower pace after the first 90 days.
The recovery process is split into two types:
- Short-term recovery is usually defined by a return to functional behavior. It involves the ability to walk with the use of a walker, gradual improvement to the point where you can walk around your house with the use of a cane, and even walk two times around your house without pain or resting. This part of the recovery usually takes four to six weeks.
- Long-term recovery is a little more challenging. Long-term recovery means the healing of surgical wounds and internal soft tissues. Patients are considered to be “recovered” when they can return to work and daily activities, and their physical status has improved beyond their presurgery pain level and dysfunction. The average long-term recovery for total hip replacement patients is approximately four to six months.
Ultimately, following your rehabilitation program to a T will hasten your recovery. In fact, most exercises in your physical therapy regimen can be performed in your home. We will be happy to design a rehabilitation program that challenges you and produces positive results. This way, you will not endanger yourself as you recover from your hip replacement and will enjoy a full return to normal activities.