Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery Time

Last Modified: March 14, 2023  |   Created on: March 14, 2023
Hip Replacement Surgery cost in India

Hip replacement is one of the most successful surgeries in all of medicine. A Hip Replacement Surgery (HRS) or Hip arthroplasty is a common procedure recommended as a solution to pain in the hip as hip pain may not be easy to discern.

The surgery is performed to replace the hip bone(s) with an artificial bone (prosthetic implant) to ensure proper mobility without any pain. This may be a common surgery in a way that by and large people of all age groups are susceptible to this pain or condition.

A lot of people who have succumbed to this pain, which affects their daily chores, job requirements and individual well-being have been able to find relief from hip pain and return to their active lives with successful Hip Replacement Surgeries.

Worldwide, estimates show that 10% of men and 18% of women aged over 60 have symptomatic osteoarthritis, including moderate and severe forms (WHO, 2014[23]).

The main indication for hip and knee replacement (joint replacement surgery) is osteoarthritis, which leads to reduced function and quality of life. However, there are other root causes that may contribute to root cause of hip pain.

Pain in the hip may be caused due to several reasons:

  • Muscle and tendon strain in the hip area is a common reason for hip pain. This strain is experienced in case of over-stretching, overuse, or a sharp blow to your muscle or tendon.
  • Hip fractures definitely lead to pain in the hip. This may be common in the elderly as with age the hip bones (or any bone for that matter) become fragile and are prone to fracture. This is called osteoporosis. However, this may not be restricted to be seen only with a specific age group. Lifestyle disorder also leads to injury-prone bones.
  • Hip impingement is usually a congenital (you are born with it) condition in which the hip bones are shaped abnormally and do not fit together perfectly, so the hip bones rub against each other and cause damage to the joint causing pain.
    Important Hip impingement may also cause a labral tear. The labrum is the ring cartilage that attaches to the rim of the hip socket.
  • Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply to the region. The bone begins to break and then collapses. As the disease progresses, one or both hip joints hurt when you put weight on them, and gradually it may hurt even when you are lying down. Pain can be focused in the groin, thigh or buttock.
  • Cancer like Bone cancer, leukaemia (cancer of the blood-forming tissues such as bone marrow and lymphatic system), and other cancers that spread to the hip bone can be the root cause of pain in the hips.
  • Sciatica is pain caused due to the compression of the sciatic nerve which is again because of a herniated disk or bone spur anywhere in the pathway. If it is in the hip region, it is the sciatica of the hip.
  • Sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from each side of the lower spine through the hips and buttocks, down the back of the thighs, to the feet sciatica is the pain caused by the. The pain is usually sharp and searing and not dull
  • Arthritis is the main factor to induce hip pain. There is no exact cause of arthritis however, researchers believe genetics has a role to play in the development of arthritis. Five types of arthritis commonly affect the hip joints are:
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis

Regular innovation in the field of surgical orthopedics especially joint replacement surgeries like Hip Replacement Surgery has shown rapid development over the recent decades.

Over the last few years, there has been an exponential rise in the number of Hip Replacement Surgeries that are taking place across the world.

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The Most Common Types of Hip Joint Replacements

It depends on the level of intervention needed during the surgery and the extent of damage that needs to be repaired. The orthopedic surgeon assesses the condition of the patient. Then they advise which type of hip replacement the patient should undergo.

The common types of hip replacement surgeries include the following:

  • Total hip replacement surgery: The natural and damaged hip joint is completely removed in this procedure. It is replaced with a prosthetic joint. Even though the recovery after total hip replacement, takes a long time, this surgery helps reduce hip pain completely and also improves the quality of life.
  • Partial hip replacement surgery: The damaged hip joint is partially removed and replaced with the prosthetic joint. Recovery after partial hip replacement takes less time as compared to total hip replacement.
  • Hip resurfacing surgery: It is an alternative to total hip replacement. It helps reline the damaged hip joint rather than replace it altogether. It is done by creating a larger hip ball than usual, which helps prevent dislocation of the hip joint.
  • Double hip replacement surgery: Also known as Bilateral Total Hip Replacement, is carried out on both hips.
  • Hip replacement revision: The prosthetic attached in the place of the original joint may not function well. It can get dislocated or causes an infection. Then the surgeon may conduct another surgery.
    This surgery is known as revision hip replacement. It targets to correct the problem with the first surgery.
  • Minimally invasive hip replacement: It aims at delivering the same benefits of total or partial hip replacement. The surgery aims at the fastest recovery and may return to the daily chores of life. This surgery is conducted with the help of smaller tools and instruments. These are inserted through several small incisions made around the hip area, instead of a single, large incision.

Symptoms that should not be avoided

  • Persistent pain in the hip even after trying all non-operative treatment modalities for pain relief.
  • Constant and continual pain in the hip, knee, or groin with no definite reason seen on the surface.
  • Difficulty completing daily tasks such as walking, bending, etc. due to interfering pain in the hip.
  • Once it is found that there is cartilage thinning and grinding of bones is becoming the reason for pain. This causes Pain with activity and at rest.
  • When there is an evident instability of the hip joint resulting in imbalance.
  • Experiencing difficulty sleeping at night due to pain.
  • Loss of motion.

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Recovery After a Hip Replacement Surgery

Considering the best doctors, the best destination, the latest development in technology and great preparation may all go in vain if it doesn’t end with an equally ROBUST RECOVERY PLAN and an equal initiative by the patient to follow the recovery plan.

Recovery after a total hip replacement varies by individual, which is different in case of young and in case of the elderly. Hip replacement recovery time for the elderly may be long and may experience a challenging road to recovery.

In some cases, the patient is discharged or kept in care in a rehabilitation center/section several days after surgery. An attendant is needed for several days to several weeks.

If the surgeon has prescribed an extended stay/rehabilitation it should not be overruled.

An ideal recovery plan has to be in place to make it a successful surgery. There are some integral points to be considered for a quick, steady and long-lasting recovery.

Hip Replacement Surgery Patients need Time for Recovery

  • To allow the incision site to heal properly
  • To allow the surrounding muscles to recover
  • To prevent blood clots
  • To avoid falls
  • To avoid future complications


Just after the surgery, it takes time to resume the usual daily activities, such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning, may not be possible. It’s important to have a support system in place to ensure uninterrupted daily routine activities, especially in case of hip replacement recovery time for the elderly.

In cases where there is no constant, safe, updated support system, it may be advised to stay at a rehabilitation facility once the patient leaves the hospital.

At the rehabilitation centre, the patient gets concentrated time with a physical therapist and the occupational therapist and will regain their strength.

It is advised to learn about all your exercises and the precautions that have to be followed.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy are started immediately following surgery and continue throughout hospitalization and at home for one year after surgery. The length of stay at this facility, however, may vary from 5 to 14 days, depending on the patients’ recovery progress.

Why is Rehabilitation Important?

The physical therapist monitors the strength and flexibility in the leg and hip, as well as the patient’s ability to stand and sit. If required the physical therapist works with the patient to sit up in bed, get up out of bed safely, walk short distances with the help of a walker or crutches.

Along with this, a physical therapist provides goals and instructions for the patient to complete while in the hospital and at home.

The physical therapist guides and instructs regarding hip movement precautions and any limitations about the range of motion like how much weight the individual can put on the leg. They may also suggest specific precautions to take when sleeping, sitting, or bending.

It is important to keep in mind that physical therapy and strengthening exercises help gain greater mobility and ensure an easier recovery following surgery. The patient has to discuss this all along for a speedy recovery.

It’s highly recommended that the patient continues the therapy treatment for the recommended time frame prescribed by an expert and experienced physical therapist.

Before Leaving for Home

It is obvious that getting back at home is the aim just after surgery, however, certain things must be checked to ascertain if it’s the right thing to do as going forward the overall recovery depends on this.

Leave the hospital after assessing the following things:

  • If the pain is under control.
  • How well the patient can safely move around.
  • How stable the patient is, medically (stable blood pressure, controlled motion etc)
  • If any of these is not marked “OK” the patient may not go back home.

Variables that influence the ultimate success of a hip replacement surgery and the length of the recovery time:

  • The strength of bones and muscles, general health and lifestyle.
  • Commitment to a rehabilitation program, since an improvement to the hip joint is determined by the rehabilitation efforts put in by the patient.

Recovery at Home

  • Pain: Most patients encounter no or minimal pain after a few months of the surgery. Occasional swelling or muscle pain is common.
  • Returning to work: The patients are able to resume work-life within a few weeks after their surgery, however, the ones having more physical jobs are advised to take at least 10-12 weeks of rest before going back to work.
  • Driving: Within 2-3 weeks after the surgery, patients are able to drive
  • Activities: It’s highly advisable to avoid activities that involve extensive pressure on the body as they pose a threat of early loosening of the implant which will later require revision surgery.

Once at home, there are a certain thing that should be followed religiously:

  • The exercises must resume as recommended by the therapist. This will help you gain strength and flexibility in your muscles and new joint, and it’ll help speed up your recovery.
  • The incision area should be clean and dry for 3 weeks. The dressing may be changed at home only.
  • It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks to start regaining strength and to be able to get around with less pain.
  • Walking at this point is especially important for your recovery.
  • Experiencing pain and stiffness after the surgery is quite regular, however, combatting it with continuous mobility is the only solution.

Recovery is an Ongoing Process

  • Almost after 3 months most patients resume their daily activities, including some low-impact sports.
  • It’s also important to keep up with your appointments for follow-up examinations to make sure you’re progressing well and there are no complications.
  • Even if the patients show a constant improvement after 4 to 6 months of the surgery, weakness in the muscles surrounding the hip may persist for up to 2 years.

Proper Guided Exercises Play a Vital Role in a Hip Replacement Surgery

Total hip replacement surgery is a common but complex surgery, with a high success rate. The recovery begins as soon as the anesthesia wears off. It’s important to do the prescribed exercises to gain strength and mobility.

To achieve maximum benefits from hip replacement surgery it’s important to talk to the surgeon about how to prepare for this surgery and what the recovery period involves.

Knowing what to expect and following your doctor’s instructions helps in achieving the best outcome.

An ideal recovery definitely ensures relief from pain, which is the greatest benefit of a hip replacement surgery. Nevertheless, the procedure offers other benefits, including:

  • Improved movement.
  • Improved strength.
  • Improved coordination of the torso and leg.
  • The ability to walk, climb stairs and maintain an active lifestyle in greater comfort.

Looking after the new hip and following the doctors’ instructions will definitely ensure- all is well, that ends well!

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