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How To Recover from Hip Replacement Surgery


Updated June 18, 2008

The recuperative period which follows joint replacement surgery is as vital to a successful outcome as the surgical procedure itself.

Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Variable

Here's How:

  1. When in bed, keep an abduction wedge or a pillow between your legs to make sure your legs do not cross.

  2. Keep compression stockings on your legs to maintain good circulation and prevent blood clots.

  3. Make yourself as comfortable as possible by taking pain medications. Do not over-use or under-use them.

  4. To avoid dislocating your hip prosthesis, follow these precautions:

  5. Do not turn or rotate your foot or leg inward.

  6. Do not twist your body.

  7. Do not cross your legs.

  8. Do not bend more than 90 degrees at the hips.

  9. Walk with crutches or a walker as permitted by your physical therapist or doctor.

  10. Use a raised toilet seat and any other assistive equipment recommended by your physical therapist or occupational therapist.

  11. Do your exercises religiously so you can regain as much strength and motion as possible.

  12. Adhere to your activity restrictions, such as not driving or not working, until released from the restrictions by your doctor.

  13. Take proper care of your incision with appropriate dressing changes and by not showering until permitted by your doctor.

  14. Do not deviate from the post-op regimen outlined by your doctor, nurse, and therapists.


  1. Take your pain medications a half-hour before exercising so they will effectively control the pain.

  2. Be patient during your recovery since your progress will be gradual.

  3. Don't be afraid of joint replacement surgery. A successful outcome depends on your positive attitude.

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