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Watch the video to learn what happens right after surgery both at the hospital and at home during recuperation and rehabilitation
From Hospital to Home

Your hip rehabilitation begins right after surgery as ordered by your surgeon. Your physical therapist will instruct you to:

  • Begin isometric exercises (tightening muscles without moving the joint) a number of times per day while you are still in bed
  • Move your ankle and other joints
  • Learn the safest methods for getting in and out of bed or a chair, and on and off the toilet
  • Understand the do’s and don’ts of joint replacement recovery
    • Walking and exercise will quickly follow

The physical therapist will check your progress daily and will keep your surgeon informed.

The usual hospital stay for hip replacement is 3 to 5 days, and full recovery typically takes 3 to 6 months. To protect your hip, you will often be asked not to sit past a 90-degree angle after surgery. If this is the case, you will be provided the necessary tools to assist during this process.

The therapist will teach you how to dress, get out of bed without help, and use a walker or crutches. You will continue to work to strengthen yourself in preparation for your return home.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s directions and proper positioning techniques throughout your rehabilitation. By the time you leave the hospital, you should be progressing well in regaining your mobility and stability. If your sutures or clips have to be removed, you will be advised about who will remove them and where this will be done. It is not uncommon to still experience some pain.

Preparing to Go Home
Just before being discharged, you will receive instructions for your at-home recovery. Until you see the surgeon for your follow-up visit, you will be asked to take certain precautions.

Look for any changes around your incision. Contact your surgeon if you develop any of the following:

  • Drainage and/or foul odor coming from the incision
  • Fever (temperature about 101° F or 38° C) for 2 days
  • Increased swelling, tenderness, redness and/or pain


The way a hip replacement will perform depends on your age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. If you have conditions that limit rehabilitation you should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell you if hip replacement is right for you.

Next: Activity After Surgery

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