Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Hip Surgery Recovery

Hip pain can be debilitating and reduce your quality of life. Thankfully, it does not have to be that way. The Hip & Knee orthopedic experts at EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region are dedicated to finding the best, minimally invasive treatments for addressing pain and mobility issues.

Still, if you are considering hip replacement surgery, you probably have many pressing questions about the procedure and recovery—even simple ones like “How long after hip replacement can I tie my shoes?” That is why we are here to give you the facts about how long it takes to recover from hip replacement surgery, including helpful tips for a successful recovery.

So, How Long After Hip Replacement Can I Tie My Shoes?

Living life without the ability to bend more than 90 degrees at the hip can be inconvenient, so it is only natural that questions like “When can I bend down after hip replacement?” and “How long after hip replacement can I tie my shoes?”are common. Typically, patients should not bend beyond 90 degrees until at least six weeks into recovery, and maybe as many as twelve.

Moving too much too soon can result in a dislocation, which can be painful. A dislocation can also potentially cause serious complications, possibly requiring a second surgery. This means no tying your shoes for around two months, as well as avoiding bending over to pick things up, or even sitting in chairs that are too low.

When Can I Walk Around and Exercise After Hip Surgery?

Walking around and exercising are two of the most important aspects of hip replacement recovery, restoring blood flow, strength, and mobility. As a result, you will start physical therapy as soon as possible after surgery.

However, this must be done carefully, under the direction of a trained medical professional. This means using a walker or crutches, performing these actions in a controlled environment. Assuming no complications, you will likely be able to return to many normal activities 3-6 weeks after the procedure. You may even gain better strength and mobility than your pre-surgery state.

When Can I Return to Work After Hip Surgery?

Unfortunately, there is no one good answer to this question. With minimally invasive surgery, you can usually leave the hospital the days after surgery, if not the same day. However, the rest depends on the type of work you do.

If you have a sedentary job, you can probably return within two to four weeks. For more active work, it may be as long as three months before you can return to full duty. Of course, any decisions about returning to work should first be discussed with an orthopedic expert who knows your specific situation and needs.

When Can I Start Driving After a Hip Replacement?

There is a significant range in the time hip replacement patients may need to wait after surgery before they can drive. Reflexes and muscle strength need to return to pre-surgical levels before a patient can safely operate a vehicle.

For some, it may be as soon as two weeks. For others, it may be as long as eight weeks. Additionally, drivers must no longer be taking any pain medication that could inhibit their reflexes. Doing so is not only dangerous but also illegal.

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Dos and Do Nots After Hip Replacement Surgery

When it comes to navigating life after your surgery, you likely have many questions about what you should and should no’t do to keep your new hip safe and healthy. Your best source of information on this topic will be an orthopedic medical professional who knows your specific situation. Nevertheless, there are some basic rules of thumb to follow during your hip surgery recovery.

Do

  • Keep the leg facing forward and in front of you when you sit or stand.
  • Use high chairs or stools when sitting to avoid bending the hip too far.
  • Use ice to reduce pain and swelling (but wrap it in a damp towel first).

Do Not

  • Push through severe muscle aches while exercising. Do not stop entirely, but take it easy.
  • Cross your legs at the knee for 6-8 weeks after surgery.
  • Bring your knee up higher than your hip
  • Pick something up off the floor from a seated position.

Choose EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region for Your Hip Replacement Procedure

Looking to learn more about how long it takes to recover from hip replacement surgery and what to expect? Download our free Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery Calendar as a resource to help your journey.

No matter your needs, we are dedicated to providing you with optimal care that will help you return to the activities you love and Emerge Stronger, healthier, and better. To schedule an appointment at one of our locations, click here.

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