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Recovery Tracker

Get Well Soon

Helping you to make a speedy recovery after total hip replacement

Recovery tracker

Days/Weeks Post Op How you might feel Things you can do safely Fit to work?
1 - 2 days Your hip will be sore from the operation and you may have pain in your thigh as well. You will be given pain relief to keep you comfortable and this might make you feel quite drowsy. When mobilising you will tire easily and you may feel light-headed.
  • You will walk with support and under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
  • You will be given advice as to what movements to avoid in order to prevent the new joint dislocating.
3 days There should be much less pain in your hip. You should be able to move a lot more easily than in the last couple of days, but you’ll still get tired more quickly than you did before the operation.
  • You may well be home by now - many hospitals have a recovery programme of 3 days or less.
  • If your surgeon allows, you may well start feeling confident enough to move from crutches to sticks.
  • You will still need some pain relief medication but perhaps be able to give up the stronger ones.
4 - 6 days The hip should now be feeling much more comfortable, though you will still feel tired as your body uses extra energy for healing and you may still need some pain relief.
  • Walk for 5 – 10 mins several times per day, going for slightly longer walks each day.
7 - 14 days You’ll be feeling much stronger but still get tired quite easily; you may still occasionally need to take a mild painkiller. By the end of the second week, you should be able to walk easily with 1 stick, although this will depend on what approach the surgeon has used; for some patients, you may have to use crutches for considerably longer.
  • Continue to build up the duration of walking
No, but you may feel able to do a couple of hours a day of administrative work from home.
2 - 6 weeks
  • Increase walking distances, swim, static cycling.
  • Continued use of a walking stick.
Unlikely, but you may be able to do a couple of hours a day of administrative work from home.
6 - 8 weeks   If you have a desk-job, it’s usually safe to return to work by now. However, if you have a job which is physically demanding, you may need to remain off work for several more weeks. It’s worth talking to your employer about lighter duties you can do without compromising your new hip. Ask your Occupational Health department for advice on returning to work and lighter duties. If you do not have one, ask your GP and surgeon what they would consider to be a safe amount for you to do.

You should have no difficulty with activities like walking, cycling or swimming.

You will be able to return to driving a light vehicle and internal and European flights are now safe as the risk of deep vein thrombosis is now diminishing.
12 weeks
  • By now, you should have returned to work although if you have a very heavy labouring job, you may not yet be able to perform all necessary activities.
  • You may now return to sports such as golf, tennis, cycling etc.
  • Long-haul flights are allowed.




When can I have sex?

For many people, being able to have sex again is an important milestone in their recovery. There are no set rules or times about when it’s safe to do so other than whether it feels OK to you, but avoid placing the operated leg in a position of potential dislocation.



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