Recovering from a hip operation

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If you have a hip replacement operation, this means that a surgeon will replace your hip joint with artificial parts if it has been damaged or worn away. Replacement parts can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic and the most common combination is a metal head and plastic cup.

Hip damage is often due to arthritis but it can also be due to an injury.

The operation itself will usually take one to two hours and some cases may be treated with keyhole surgery however, this is not suitable for everyone and your surgeon will discuss as to whether this would be appropriate for you.

Recovery from your hip replacement

The benefits of the operation are often felt almost immediately but you may feel pain initially. The hospital will normally prescribe painkillers to take when you leave the hospital and if further pain relief is necessary you can usually take over the counter painkillers. As with any medication you should read the information leaflet that comes with your medicine and you can ask your pharmacist for further advice.

Your physiotherapist will give you exercises to do which are a crucial part of your recovery and it is very important that you continue to do them as requested when you get home.

It is advised to avoid some movements during the first six weeks of your recovery to protect your hip such as crossing your legs or twisting your hip inwards and outwards. By avoiding these movements you will reduce the strain on your scar and reduce the risk of hip dislocation.

You will need to use sticks or crutches for about 4 to 6 weeks following the operation and it is important to try and sleep on your back for the first 6 weeks.

If you are still in employment when you have your hip operation you can normally return to work after about six weeks. If however, your work involves a lot of lifting or standing you may need a longer recovery time.

You should be able to drive again after about six weeks but you should check with your surgeon as this waiting period can vary. It is advisable not to travel to anywhere that takes three or more hours for a month after your operation (this includes flying).

All of the information relating to recovering from a hip operation has been sourced from BUPA and if you would like more information please visit the BUPA website