Returning to Activity after a Hip Replacement

by Christi Loftus
9.17 Blog

After a total hip replacement (THR), many people are eager to return to an active lifestyle – and with good reason! The benefits of exercise after a THR are endless: improved cardiovascular fitness, psychological satisfaction, muscle strength, flexibility, bone growth as well as improved coordination, balance, and endurance. However, it is natural to have some questions and concerns: when is it safe to start exercising again? Which activities or sports are safe to participate in? How much is too much?

While everyone’s recovery is unique, and you should always follow the advice of your physician and physical therapist, these guidelines will help give you an idea of what to expect and how to plan your return to activities.

In the first 6 weeks after surgery, major goals include strengthening, balance, training, and progressing to walking without the use of an assistive device. In the following 6-12 weeks, it is important to focus on more advanced therapy goals. These may include regaining full strength, improving endurance, being able to function at home independently (getting dressed, for example), and going up and down stairs reciprocally.

When you have met your physical therapy goals, are not experiencing any pain, and the x-rays taken by your surgeon look good, you will likely be ready to return to athletics. Your physical therapist and physician will let you know when the time is right, but total hip replacement patients typically return to sports activities 3-6 months after surgery.

Speak with your surgeon and physical therapist about the best post-operative activities for you. Studies have shown that patients who participated in a particular sport pre-operatively are more likely to be able to return that sport safely. In addition, patients with a lower Body Mass Index often experience a smoother transition back to activities and sports. There are plenty of options, so feel free to discuss them and ask questions!

While different surgeons may have different recommendations, low-impact sports are generally safe for patients to participate in after having a total hip replacement.  These include (but are not limited to) swimming, doubles tennis, golf, hiking, cycling, low-impact aerobics, and rowing.  These activities also have a low fall risk, which is extremely important after having a total hip replacement.

Other sports like downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, weight lifting, ice skating, roller-blading, Pilates and yoga involve more impact and an increased risk for falls.  It is advised that you be cleared by your surgeon before participating in these activities.

It is strongly recommended that high-impact sports with high fall risk and possible contact be avoided after a total hip replacement.  These include any sports involving running, jumping, and repetitive high impact on the hip, specifically racquetball, squash, basketball, soccer, football, softball, snowboarding, and high-impact aerobics.

Wherever your interests lie, there are many activities that you can enjoy safely once you’ve recovered from total hip replacement surgery. This is a new chapter in your life and wellbeing, make the most of it!

For more information on hip replacement, please visit http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_hip-replacement.asp.

Christi Loftus is a physical therapist with the Rehabilitation Department at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Topics: Rehabilitation and Fitness
Tags: , ,
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

Comments

Crista Hollins says:

I”ve underwent a total hip replacement approx 4 months ago and have been slowly but steadily healing. I have recently started with some light swimming and am feeling great. I”m really looking forward to the next few months and hoping my healing continues the way it has. Thanks for the great into in this post.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Crista, thank you for sharing. Good luck on your road to recovery! Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.

keith says:

Hi my names Keith I am 55 years old and had a total hip replacement on the 21/2/15 and my recovery has been slow but steady I have no arthritis pain now and my legs are the same length which makes walking easier, over 30 years I was a bodybuilder for 12 yrs a Aerobic instructor for 10 years and done martial arts for 25 yrs I run my own club and can””t wait to get back I understand i won””t be able to do contact and will have do low impact so I will just coach my students, I need to find out what I can and can””t do ? But at the end of the day its my job so got no choice :-)

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Keith, thank you for reaching out. Here’s a response from HSS Rehabilitation: “We understand that you’re used to being very physically active and are looking forward to exercising again. You are correct that low impact exercise will probably be the most appropriate for you, but fortunately, there are many ways that you can stay fit and healthy. We suggest making an appointment with a sports physical therapist. They will be able to help you put together a fitness routine that will challenge you while maintaining your precautions.” If you wish to seek care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

ruti says:

This contradicts most of the advice i as given and after horrendous mistakes so far i would be interested in your opinion,not medical advice, on free diving and other aquatic activities such as snorkeling. Does it matter about depths/ strokes used or ways you dive? THIS IS PURELY AN OPINION AND NOT A MEDICAL THERAPY ADVISORY REPLY! with thanks

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Ruti, thank you for reaching out. Christi Loftus, Physical therapist, says: “It is possible that a leg discrepancy could affect your lower back. While aquatic activities are often low-impact, everyone is unique and it would be best to discuss these and any other activities you would like to pursue with your physician.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Lenda Russell says:

Thank you so much Christi for sharing your information about hip replacement. I had a total right hip replacement done on February 28, it is now going into my fifth week of recovery. It has been a slow process, but I am determine to take it one day at a time. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I feel better already!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Lenda, thank you for the kind message and good luck on your road to recovery! We will share with Christi.

Jennifer Ricks says:

My name is jennifer ricks and im 24 years old. I had a total hip replacement in december. Im glad to say that after 4 months ive almost had a complete recovery and ive never felt better. I started goingto the gym a few times a week and it helped so much on the recovery. I still have 2 more months before my dr will clear me to go back to work but Ican finally see the llight at the end of the tunnel. Keep your head up girls. It gets better!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jennifer, thank you for sharing! Good luck on your road to recovery!

Miranda says:

Jennifer, I am 22 years old and have had severe AVN since I broke my hip at 12 years old, the doctors usually say that I”m to young for a hip replacement but it”s still my decision. I”ve been limping and in pain for what feels like my whole life. But you just gave me hope for an end to my misery :)

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Miranda, thanks for reaching out. For more information on hip replacement, click here: http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_hip-replacement.asp#.U57xCHJdXTo. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

paul says:

hi jennifer im 31 and ive got avn and was in agony for two years with it until i had thr on my right and core decompression surgery on my left hip it has been 6 weeks since the operation and all is well i have no pain what so ever and have my life back which i never thought would be possible my two boys are also loving the fact they have their dad back im loving it. Recovery for me seemed a breeze but i think because im young it helped and most case studies on healing time are for older people as you dont see many younger people with total hip replacements. Good look i hope you choose to do it as i have and never looked back!!

Newman says:

I was involved in a car wreck which fractured my left hip which was in 2010. I just got a total hip replacement in June this year 2014. I was cleared for work full duty in September. I put my trust in God and I thank my doctor. The important factor is you have to believe in yourself and trust in the lord. It was not easy and it is a life changing event…learn your body know your limitations and take one day at a time.

Colleen Carroll says:

Hi, my name is Colleen Carroll, 56 and I had total hip replacement 2/24/14. They ONLY issue I have had is femur pain at the stem. My PT believes it is a result of walking too far too soon. ( 3-4 weeks I was up to 2 miles and some slight incline hills ) Week 5 and 6 the femur pain began and I had to stop go for ” walks ” and stay on my cane. I am now at 12 weeks post surgery, still using my cane but the femur pain has gotten MUCH better. Just wanted to share because I was DYING to get out a walk and that caused a set back for me. Take it SLOW !!!! I thought I was ! : (

Dave says:

Hi Colleen. I had my hip replaced on 2/25/2014 and experienced the same thigh pain. The area around the scar often tingles/ burns and my backside aches from time to time. I am glad to have a working joint but the pain can be difficult. I initially felt like my leg was longer and this added stress to my back but exercise and stretching are helping me get used to the new hip. I am an avid walker and have continued the exercise routine, golf as well. I think it is important to pace/rest especially as the body gets used to the new joint. This is difficult for me, hard to not be doing stuff. I hope your recovery continues in a positive fashion.

Christine says:

Hi my name is Christine. I”m 40yrs old and am getting a total hip replacement June 24th. My doctor said I will only need to be out of work 6-8weeks. Everything I”m reading makes it seem like I may need more time off. Ugh. I hope not. I weigh about 145 and am 5”8″. He said because of my health I won”t need a lot of time off. I am a bartender on the Las Vegas strip and it can get pretty at times. I would love some opinions if anyone has them. Thank you for any helpful advice.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Christine, thanks for reaching out. It is best for you to consult with your treating physician. For more information on total hip replacement, click here: http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_hip-replacement.asp. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance. For more information, visit http://www.hss.edu/physician-referral-service.asp.

Colleen Carroll says:

Christine. My surgeon told me 6 weeks as well because I work out and am 56. Took 3 months for me to be able to go back : ( Good luck though

Bruce Baker says:

I just had a total hip replacement at 58, back mountain biking at 6 weeks. Went back to desk job at 4 weeks. As long as you are in good shape before the surgery and do all the rehab (at home and at PT) you can come back quickly.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Bruce, thank you for reaching out. Congratulations on your great recovery! If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Brad says:

Christine,

I am 43 and just had full replacement and was back to work in 4 weeks. Zero pain achieved at three weeks as well as unassisted walking in two weeks. I think recovery is different for everyone. I will say this, going forward with the surgery was a very positive decision. It went so smoothly and I can walk with my kids again.

Paul Marley Jr says:

I just found out today for sure that I will probably need a hip replacement, I injured it almost 30 years ago while doing Karate. It has really been bothering me this last year, I am a full time student finishing my last year in engineering school. My life has been crazy I was seeing that the recovery time is different for everyone which makes since. I am in fairly good shape I weight about 170 lbs. and I am 6’1due to school I haven’t exercised as much as I use to. I use to run anywhere between 4 to 5 miles a day. I am hoping to get back to that but on an elliptical instead of the pavement. I appreciate reading about all your insight about recovery. Thanks
Paul C. Marley Jr.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Paul, thanks for reaching out. For more information on hip replacement, click here: http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_hip-replacement.asp. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance. For more information, visit http://www.hss.edu/physician-referral-service.

Mike says:

My name is Mike. Today is 1 year anniversary of anterior THR. I walk and get around great. The Post Operative exercises were super and recovery was just as the Dr. predicted. I could have started more active before, but am just starting now. 54 years old and about 25+ lbs to loose. Should I do normal HIp strength and aerobic exercise, or are there specific exercises at 1 yr. post THR surgery? Thanks!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Mike, thank you for reaching out. Dr. Michael Alexiades, Orthopedic Surgeon, says: “Normal hip strengthening exercises are ok, but you should avoid high impact exercises as they probably will decrease the life of the implant.” It is best that you consult with your treating physician so that they can determine the best course of treatment. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Michael Allen says:

I had bilateral THR in November’09. My doctor said I could probably return to work in 3 months, and I was able to return in 4. The pain I had been living with for 10 years was gone when I woke from the surgery and has not returned. I recommend you follow the instructions of your surgeon, work hard in therapy, and listen to your body. It will tell you when it has healed, don’t rush it.
GREAT JOB HSS, Thanks

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Michael – Thanks for your post! Glad to hear you are doing well!

Colleen Carroll says:

Im about 4 months post THR and still have thigh/femur ? pain. My surgeon told me that its common and some people just take longer. My PT thinks I should get a second opinion. Anyone else have this issue ?

adi j says:

Hi there all i am a 35 year old man and I am having a THR on the 7th of july and I am really worried i am a very phyisical Person and would love to be able to continue doing some activities i Snowboard , play football ,run and cylcle a lot .will i be able to continue with any of These . Thx.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Adi, thank you for reaching out. It is best for you to consult with your treating physician following surgery so they can better advise.

Dave says:

Hope your surgery went well. I am 41/2 months out and am seeing positive results. I am 52 , a former athlete who is used to a very active lifestyle. I began hitting golf balls 3 weeks post op and was very proactive in my rehab. Be sure to pace yourself, slow and steady really is the approach after a THR. Keep a positive mindset and follow post op instructions. Best wishes.

Jimmy says:

I had THR done feb 2014, I am 36 I have done some light jogging some surfing and kawakying. all with sever stem/femur pain. I been utilizing a cane when I am not performing sports activites. Anyone have a good exercise routine they can recommend. I eat poorly and been gaining weight!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jimmy, thanks for reaching out. For more information on total hip replacement, please click here: http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_hip-replacement.asp#.U7qiDJRdXTo If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Dave says:

Hey Jimmy, I gained some weight after my surgery on 2/25 and am doing lots of low impact cardio namely walking and hiking. Also doing core work on the exercise ball. My Dr says stay away from higher impact stuff like running. I play golf and walk the course and do some weight training. Have had the thigh pain too, stretch a lot and try sustained controlled movement activities like the treadmill or elliptical. I am regaining my flexibility and strength. Good luck.

Mary says:

I went back to work last week, 8 weeks post op. I walk unaided but do limp. I”ve just started swimming. Are there restrictions on pool activity?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Mary, thank you for reaching out. Christi Loftus, Physical Therapist, says: “Assuming any precautions from the surgeon are now lifted and the incision is completely healed, there are not likely to be any other restrictions. Avoid anything that causes pain and refer to your physical therapist for specific exercises that would be appropriate for you while in the pool. Walking in the pool can also be beneficial for patients who experience some pain while walking on dry land.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Paul Marley Jr says:

I just had my surgery done on my hip on Monday the 7th and I am already back home and walking with a walker the pain is minimal for me during the whole procedure so far. I actually got to walk outside yesterday and I made two full laps around the cult a sac. Go at your on pace to not try to over due it and re injure yourself. My advise to anyone that needs a hip replaced is to follow the procedures the Doctor prescribes for you and you should do very well. Good luck to everyone who has had a hip replaced or is going to.

Doug Zitek says:

Treadmil is not low impact.. its running. Not a good idea for thr.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Doug, thank you for sharing your input!

Theresa says:

I had my the on June 4, 2014. Yesterday I tried a Walking Off The Pounds exercise video…it felt great and I walked a mile at home because it was raining. I am still using a cane because without it I have a limp and do not want to damage anything by limping too much. I feel like I need more advanced exercises though.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Theresa, thank you for reaching out. Christi Loftus, Physical Therapist, says: “You want to use your cane until you are able to walk with no pain and no limp. Sometimes, it can take weeks or months to walk without the assistance of a cane. In the meantime, it may benefit you to see a strength and conditioning specialist or follow up with your physical therapist to get an updated home exercise program.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Sundae says:

Hi. How do I find out precisely the full details about the type of implant I have? Does HSS keep that on file? My surgeon has given me a generic description, but I”d like to know a lot more.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi, thank you for reaching out. Please contact us at socialmediacontact@hss.edu for further assistance.

Jerimy Gilley says:

Hello I am a 41 year old male that suffers from avsacular Nurcosis in both hips.already had total left hip replacement and just waiting to have the right one done.i have to say I cam feel the difference between before and after.best decision I ever made.

susan hoffman says:

Me too,
Going for my surgery in september 5Th
I teach all types of exercise classes.
I hope I heal fast.
My left hip has avasacular nurcosis.
When did you start exercising again,how soon.

Jolene Fisher says:

I have a question. I had total hip replacement and the hip is much larger than my normal hip causing deformation. My gait and rom has been affected. The deformation is significant enough to cause pants to pull down on the normal hip as I walk. My surgeon just says it is my imagination. Any advice?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jolene, thank you for reaching out. It would be best for you to consult with your treating physician so they can determine the best course of treatment. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Jodell Roth says:

I am 60, 5′,140lbs and active before surgery. The thread has given me a more realist view of what I have been experiencing. 7/28 was my replacement date I had wonderful recovery the first 2 weeks and advanced well. However when I tried increasing my slow walk up to I miles I had severe back pain taking up to 48 hours to resolve. No cane very slight limp.(prior to surgery walking 4-5 miles 3-4 days per/week and working 12 hour shifts). Recovery is now going much slower then I had hoped. I am compliant with hip exercises, would pool work improve or hasten this process.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jodell, thank you for reaching out. It would be best to consult with your treating physician and/or physical therapist about the possibility of including aquatic therapy in your treatment plan. If you are interested in receiving care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Bill Davis says:

I had surgery, THR, Jul 8th, 2014, exactly two months out now. I think people should be very aware that pain meds will allow you to over do early on. I did and after 4 weeks in which I thought I was making amazing progress I suffered a major set back, deep internal pain from interior swelling. So, off the pain pills, added heat, now doing very well. Soreness in my hip but no real pain or normal movement limitations.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Bill, thank you for reaching out. Your physical therapist will be able to provide you with advice on how to enjoy the beach safely. If you are interested in receiving rehabilitative care at HSS or through one of our Rehabilitation Network membership facilities, please contact our Rehabilitation Referral Service at 800-493-0039 for further assistance.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Bill, thank you for reaching out. It would be best for you to consult with your treating physician so they can determine the best course of treatment. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Jeremy says:

Hi I am a 37 year old active male. In 5 days I’m having bilateral hip replacement. My doctor says my condition is the worst he has ever seen. I am very scared for this and concerened about continuing my career. I am a water utility worker( construction) install water mains, fire hydrants, ect. My doc. Said I should be back to work in 10 weeks, from everything I have read thats not the case for this severe of operation and recovery. Anyone with information or advice I would greatly appreciat it. Thank you

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jeremy, thank you for reaching out. It would be best for you to consult with your treating physician so they can determine the best course of treatment. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Sandy says:

Hey Jeremy I bilateral hip replacements 5 months ago at the age of 40 due to avn and I have rheumatiod arthritis. I had severe bone loss and had to get trabecular technology. I was afraid like you but had no other choice. I want to tell you, you will be ok. Strengthen the muscles around the hip and surrounding leg muscles don’t be embarrassed about your cane use it it’s only temporary, take it easy u will get back to work I’m a hairstylist I’m not back yet but I want my legs really strong before I go back because of the long term. Work will be there I know u have bills but do all the work now don’t Rush so when ur ready to go back u will keep moving ahead and never have to look back!! Good luck with your recovery.

Jay Geary says:

Hi I just turned 64 on September 2 and had a THR of the left hip (osteoarthritis – cartilage ragged out from decades of running and hip intensive activities) on 9/16. I”m 5”10″, 170 lbs. I”m 5 days post-op and in a rehab facility. I”m already able to walk without a walker for about 100 feet, but I do use one when going any farther. Trying to go slow and steady but rehab says they”re going to send me home in possibly 3 days. (someone will be there!) I did a lot of weight lifting and strength conditioning at a well-known gym franchise (despite arthritis pain) before I went under the knife. I think it has made a world of difference in my recovery. I would recommend tag to the extent someone us medically able to build up or maintain peak strength before surgery, do it!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jay, thanks for sharing your input.

Cindy Kay says:

I had Left THR on August 25, 2014. The first few weeks were really hard, I had limited range of motion and way more pain then what I was expecting, but in my 5th week of recovery, I think I”m doing well. I haven”t had pain meds for over 2 weeks, doing PT 3 times a week and walking with a cane. I can move around my kitchen pretty easily without any assistance of the cane, but I”m taking the advice of my surgeon and not going to over do it too soon. I want to heal properly and completely and if that takes 6 months, then so be it. I”m only 45 and I have a lot of years left and I want this hip to make it with me, because I do NOT want to do this again!! Going back to work soon too, wish me luck!!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Cindy, thank you for reaching out. Good luck on your road to recovery! If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Leah says:

I had my 2nd total hip replacement on 6/30 surgery took 4hrs and got 2 blood clots in my leg 2wks later. It felt like a leg cramp but 5 times more painful. I had to be on blood thinner for 40 days. Then I started my PT 2wks later. I still having pain in my hip (just enough to take pain pills). The doctor told me my leg is 2 1/2 inch longer than the other leg and gave a lift for my shoe. I need to be pain free and 100% strong to go to work. I have to stand for 7 or 8 hours a day. My job will not give me a chair and my mgr said I can’t ride the electric chair when I am off the clock. I hope I will be OK. It sounds like other people will do better than me. GOOD LUCK FOR EVERYONE…

Linda Helmus says:

My sister in law needs a total hip replacement soon. She is 65 years old, and very, very active. She lives alone on many acres of property. Cuts the grass with a tractor, stacks wood for the winter, and other physically demanding activities. After the recovery period, how realistic is it to think that she will be able to return to her former activities?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Linda, thank you for reaching out. Dr. Michael Alexiades, Orthopedic Surgeon, says: “After the recovery period, your sister should be able to return to all activities that she was used to doing prior to her hip replacement.”

Dadez says:

Had simultaneous anterior bilateral THR 8-27-14. Went home next day. Recovered quickly probly due to being very physically active and healthy before surgery. Go slow, do a little more each day, make sure and do range of motion for flexibility and WALK! Do stairs if able, follow prescribed exercises and do them religiously. I am 60, going back to work this week and feel great. Have been walking 1-2 miles/day for last 4 weeks plus active lifestyle. Back to horseback riding next month!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Dadez, thank you for sharing your recommendations!

jimmy says:

I work in construction and need THR I cant climb now in ceilings or bend down or even put on my sock..I was wondering after THR will I be able to climb in ceilings and bend down all the way and crawl and able to get into tight spots again, and have full flexibility again. Thank you

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jimmy, thank you for reaching out. Dr. Michael Alexiades, Orthopedic Surgeon, says: “Most THRs have more flexibility due to lack of pain, but some positions can put you at risk for dislocation. Ladder climbing should be ok for most. Some modifications to the implant can help minimize but not eliminate the risk.” It is best that you seek an in-person consultation with a physician so that they can determine the best course of treatment. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

jimmy says:

thank you your advise !!!!!

Savana says:

hello,i am 22 years old, i had a hip replacement on october 15th because i have hip dysplasia. i am now 1 month post op. still using a walker or sometimes crustches beacause i still have a bad limp, due to diffrent length in my legs! also i have like tingling and burning in my incision, but beside that i am not experiencing any other pain! is it normal to have diffrent legnth in your legs post op?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Savana, thank you for reaching out. It would be best for you to seek an in-person consultation with your treating physician that is familiar with your medical history so that they can determine the best course of treatment. If you are interested in receiving care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Lasierk says:

Hi everyone, I had a total hip replacement at the age 54, 7/12/12. I returned to work after 8 weeks. I have to wear steel toed shoe while at work. granted I am in the position that I can sit whenever I need to it was difficult wearing the heavy boots. after 6 months I was at a point to where I could do any low impact exercise I wanted. 9 months later I started and finished the P90X workout program, of course something’s modified but got though it and is now in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I have just recently started taking martial arts. I say this to say that you can do almost anything you want as long as you pace yourself and realize you had a major operation that makes you have to continue to work on it to keep it going and be pain free. I have noticed that when hurt another part of the leg and can’t work out the hip I get a little pain. keep working hard and good luck in your recovery. what brought me to this website was that I use to roller skate and was pretty good at it and was wondering if someone out there experienced this yet?

Kim says:

I will be having THR next Monday 12-8-14. I have previously had an ankle fusion on the opposite ankle. Ankle doc said I probably shouldn””t limp if I had my hip fixed which was 2 years ago. Now, no choice. I am hoping that my limping will be minimal after. I want to go back for a few hours post op at about 3 weeks to my desk job. I am so trying to be positive.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Kim, thank you for reaching out. We wish you the best on your upcoming surgery!

Kim says:

I want to follow up. I had my THR and it was successful. I am homebound until 12/30 but my PT says I am far ahead of my predetermined rate of recovery and probably will be released without problems. I don”t seem to be limping if I think about how I walk and strengthen the muscles around my hip. I work on this daily. I am so glad for the forum. It has been very helpful for me.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Kim, thank you for sharing! We’re glad to hear that you found our article to be helpful. Please let us know if there are any other topics you would like to hear more about. Contact us at socialmediacontact@hss.edu!

Tim says:

I had THR July 2013. My recovery has been extremely smooth. I have been playing racquetball over the last ten months. I am concerned seeing the recommendation not to play this sport. Is it safe? So far I have had no issue with pain or mobility.

Thanks,
Tim

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Tim, thank you for reaching out. Before returning to activity, you should consider consulting with your physician to determine the best course of action during your recovery. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Charlie peterson says:

having THR on 9/15 and feeling great. Have walked, shoveled snow. Is walking on tread mill a beneficial exercise for 71 year old?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Charlie, thank you for reaching out. Christi Loftus, Physical Therapist, says: “That is wonderful that you are feeling great and looking to get back in the game! Treadmill walking is a good form of exercise, but it is important to be cautious. Check with a doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. If you have any issues with dizziness or balance, a treadmill might not be the best choice for you.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Phil Lloyd says:

I am 34 years old and had a THR left hip 11 weeks ago. Im feeling happy that all is going well. I used walking sticks for the first 3 weeks, then I was steady away without walking aids, on short walks. Ive had the odd ache and pain but feel its more from muscles than the hip. My hip movement is far better than before operation. I am keen to get back to fitness, starting with gentle jogging and by May 2015 back to playing cricket. I feel as though i could go jogging now, do you have any feedback on if this would be a good idea?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Phil, thank you for reaching out. Christi Loftus, Physical Therapist, says: “We are so happy that you are doing well! The best thing to do is consult your surgeon or physical therapist prior to resuming any jogging. He or she knows you best and can make the best recommendations for you specifically to help you get back in the game.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Donna Garland says:

I had a THP on 8/5/14. In October was given the okay to ride my bike. I went on a ride for 1.5 to 2 hours. Leg never hurt a bit. The next day it was very sore and has been very painful ever since. There are some days with little or no pain, but the pain always comes back. Is this normal?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Donna, thank you for reaching out. Dr. Michael Alexiades, Orthopedic Surgeon, says: “It is normal for your leg to hurt later or on the next day after activities. If the pain persists, speak with your physician.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Joyce says:

I had a total hip replacement last year and have recently worked up to walking 3 miles in 1 hour. My husband is concerned I will damage or wear my new hip out.
My question is :what are acceptable exercises for me? ( I really loved Pilates but was afraid to do that for fear of damaging new hip, but walking has been good alternative if that’s out. )

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Joyce, thank you for reaching out. Christi Loftus, Physical Therapist, says: “Congratulations on getting back in the game! Exercise is very important for all of us. Many people are able to resume very active lifestyles following hip replacement, but it is important to discuss activity and any restrictions with your surgeon to make sure you make the best choices for you and your new hip.”

Shenel says:

Thank you so much for this forum – I have learned a great deal – I had anterior thr on 12/23/14 – went back to work 1/13/15 after 3 weeks – only had slight infection in incision that has cleared with antibiotics – I am not a patient person and must be doing too much because the thigh and groin pain are now present – no pain meds since 4 days after surgery until now. Only PT ordered is for me to walk as much as I can but not too much (go figure) – I walk roughly 2 miles a day broken out into several times a day.
Between back surgery in 9/14 and THR – I have absolutely no regrets

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Shenel, thank you for sharing. We wish you the best on your road to recovery!

Plunket O'Reilly says:

HI All, I had a THR in Oct.2013 . I am 56, was involved in sports, mostly football all my life. The first 10 weeks post-op were the most trying but the new hip is working fine now. I can do all activities but I stay clear of anything that creates stress or impact on my hip. I miss the competitiveness of physical sport but I was probably getting a bit long in the tooth for that in any case. I now have to brace myself to get my other hip replaced as it is beginning to annoy me, however my first THR was so successfull ( apart from the initial recovery period which is really inconvenient more than painful) I look forward to having two artificial hips.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Plunket, thank you for sharing! Wishing you the best on your road to recovery!

aima says:

I am 27 yrs old. I had a left THR on April 17, 2014 in China bcs i am a student there. I spent 10 days in the hospital laying on my bed and when i was discharged i asked for instructions but they said no instructions just go home. After 3 months without any progress I went back there to ask if there is any follow-up and they said no follow-up go home and rest.
Now it’s 9 months since the surgery and
*i still walk weirdly(limp, gimp, hobble)
*my operated leg is longer and thin than the other
*my knee on the operated leg sometimes hurts
*my hip mobility is sometimes low especially in the cold.
Is that normal after 9 months pre-op? what should i do?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Aima, thank you for reaching out. It would be best for you to reach out to your treating physician and address your concerns following surgery or seek an in-person consultation with a physician. From there, they will be able to determine the best course of treatment for you during your recovery process. If you wish to seek consultation at HSS, please contact our International Center at 212-606-1186 or by email at international@hss.edu for further assistance.

Tom Moore says:

Hello Everyone. I am a 56 yr old male who had significant pain and limitations in his hip for 6 years but still made myself stay very active. I had double anterior hip replacement on Jan 5, 2014. I was off pain meds 3 days post-op. I was able to walk totally unassisted 7 days post-op. I returned to my job (teaching and driving) 14 days post-op.
There has been no physical therapy. I walk 2 miles a day very briskly in under 25 minutes. Please do yourself a favor and talk to a Dr. who performs hundreds of anterior hips before you elect the posterior approach. All the best, Tom Moore

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Tom, thank you for sharing your input!

Deborah Walker says:

Hi, I recently had PosteriorTHR in October 2014. I have been progressing well and had no complications. I was very happy with my Dr. and HSS. It is coming up to 4 months since I have had surgery and I am released from P.T. Is there a information stating what exercise/positions to avoid so we don”t chance having our hip pop out? I discussed this with my Physician and extreme positions and crossing legs, internal rotation, seem to be what may chance the possibility of it happening. I am asking if printed a go to guide of suggestions exist, if so where can I get one? Also should we continue to strengthen the hip exercises at home? Thank you.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Deborah, thank you for reaching out. For more information on activities to strengthen hips, please visit http://www.hss.edu/activities-exercises-to-strengthen-hips.asp.

Roberta Boulton says:

First, thank you Deborah for asking that question because it””s one I haven””t been able to find the answer to although I did hear that you shouldn””t cross your legs! I had THR on my right hip in June 13 and it took 3 months to get back to work, I dropped the cane at about 2 months. Everything was great, out walking again with my dog etc up until 4 weeks ago! Cleaning the kitchen I moved the fridge freezer to clean behind and put it back
using my right side! I heard a click and the orginial pain in recovery came back! I have been in agony since and went to my doctor, who, without examination, prescribed pain killers only. I think being 18 months post op lulled me into a false sense of security. At the end of the day, it””s a prosthetic hip and will never be the same again so it””s always wise to make allowances. I””m going to give it a week and see if my hip recovers as it could just be a muscle injury.

Good Luck to anyone recovering, it””s a slow process so be kind to yourselves :)

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Roberta, thank you for sharing your story. If your condition worsens, we best advise that you go in for a consultation with your treating physician. We hope all is well and wish you the best. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Dennis says:

I am two months shy of 63 and had total hip replacement of my left hip ( anterior approach) five weeks ago. I used a walker for the first 10 days then skipped the cane and went back to work after three weeks. I was driving ten days after surgery since it was not my right leg. I do therapy and also exercises on my own and it has definitely helped. I have been going up and down our stairs since the first week. Make no mistake, the pain is still there from the surgery, but it is mostly around the incision area. I have been a long distance runner for 37 years and logged over 30,000 miles, so the hip was shot. I was hoping I could return to running after surgery, but that is not advised since it will make the new hip wear out quickly. You do not want to do the surgery twice. The key to a successful surgery is this – be in good shape before the surgery, maintain a good weight and healthy diet and do your Physical Therapy as often as your insurance allows. You need to wake up the muscles to come back so being totally inactive after surgery is not good for recovery.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Dennis, thank you for reaching out and sharing your helpful input. Hope all is well!

Matt says:

I am 30 years old at the moment and feel at the moment like I’m 50 at times. I was diagnosed with mild arthritis in a few places that I don’t want to get into and fibromyalgia (due to both genetics from my Mom’s side) and my serious flat feet and I’ve always been overweight. Until last April I weighed 330. After being pre-diabetic I lost down around 250 give or take a few. I am still looking at the possibility of a hip replacement in the near future. Before that I wanted to be a cop but that’s not happening now. I’m now looking at teaching.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Matt, thank you for reaching out. For more information on hip replacement surgery, click here: http://www.hss.edu/conditions_hip-resurfacing-overview.asp#.VUfYT_lVhBc. If you would like to seek a consultation at Hospital for Special Surgery, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance. The Physician Referral Service will assist in ensuring that patients are connected with the physician that best meets their needs. For more information, visit http://www.hss.edu/physician-referral-service.asp.

Dave says:

I am 51 and had a THR 7 weeks ago and so far it is the best decision I ever made. No pain, I am back at the gym, rode my bike 15 miles yesterday. I don’t plan on running anymore, but I do plan on leading an active lifestyle. I had an active life while I was in severe arthritic pain and I plan on enjoying my pain-free hip as much as I can. Anyone planning on having THR surgery should try to exercise and strengthen the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings before the surgery. Do you rehab religiously and have will power.

denise pearson says:

25 since THR and life is great.11 days on walker and 7 on cane.NO.PAIN….Feeling great and will be back at work soon. Drove in 12 days.I am 62

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Denise, congratulations on your successful road to recovery! Hope all is well!

Ken Wise says:

I””m a 58 year old male who had partial hip replacement 5+ weeks ago. Everything, including therapy, appeared to be progressing well. I””ve been off pain meds for 3 weeks and only take 1 aspirin daily. Yesterday & today I became dizzy in the morning. Today is worse than yesterday. Is this normal?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Ken, thank you for reaching out. Here’s a response from HSS Rehabilitation: “Dizziness is not a normal result of hip replacement and may be due to many factors. Contact your physician immediately.” If you wish to seek consultation at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

Jody says:

I am 64 and had a right hip replacement in Costa Rica where I live, all went very well. It is now 3 mos since the surgery. My activities are swimming and walking. I notice on occasion I have a dull ache in the joint or groin, nothing that terrible, but wondered if that is normal. When do you recommend that someone can bend over, ever? Thank you for your input and have a great week, Jody

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Jody, thank you for reaching out. Here’s a response from HSS Rehabilitation: “It’s great that you’re staying active, walking and swimming are excellent, low impact choices. Total hip replacement patients are advised not to bend their hip more than 90 degrees in the weeks immediately following their surgery. Contact your physician or physical therapist to see if and when it would be appropriate to bend at the waist again, and tell them about the ache you’re experiencing. In the meantme, it may benefit you to use a long handled reacher to pick up items that you would normally have to bend over to reach.” If you wish to seek consultation at HSS, please contact our International Center at 212-606-1186 or by email at international@hss.edu for further assistance. For more information on the International Center at HSS, please visit http://www.hss.edu/international-contact.asp.

Bill Compton says:

I””m at day 6, left THR posterior. 68, active, 6””1″, 190. Pace of recovery is remarkable. I walked with a cane around the block yesterday. I””m wondering how long before I””ll be able to put on my left sock w/o an aid, or tie that shoe. I plan on singles tennis after 6 months, but what about wading/fly-fishing in rivers?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Bill, thank you for reaching out. Here’s a response from the HSS Rehabilitation Department: “Glad to hear that your recovery is going well! Patients often return to independent activities in the 6-12 weeks following surgery, but everyone’s recovery is unique so you should consult with your physical therapist about what’s right for you. Wading and fly-fishing are low impact activities and should be good choices, but talk to your physical therapist and physician before returning to that or any other physical activity.”

Joe says:

I am 51 and had THR on right hip on 4/30/15. After morning surgery was up walking that afternoon with walker and discharged to go home next morning. Used crutches aound the house for 4 days and then a cane for 3 more days. Returned to desk job after 10 days. At almost 4 weeks still only walking and doing stairs but feel like I can begin doing much more. First PT appt tomorrow so hope I get the OK to return to normal activities as I feel able. A big key to a quick recovery is being as physically fit as possible prior to surgery.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Joe, thank you for sharing your experience! We””re glad to hear that all is well! We wish you the best on your road to recovery!

Ron Hansen says:

I am 68, had left hip replaced 3/17/15
Dr. Said walking was the only exercise I needed for rehab, but I requested to see a PT. He gave me 12 exercises to do, which was a little painful, but I could see the daily improvement, and this was encouraging. Played golf 6 weeks later, but feel a little tightness and first 2 steps, after sitting feels strange, after 8 wks. Play golf and walk the course 4 days a week.

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Ron, thank you for reaching out. Here’s a response from the HSS Rehabilitation Department: “It sounds as though you’re being very proactive about your recovery, which is great. Don’t hesitate to contact your physical therapist about the symptoms you’re feeling. Find out if you have a local rehabilitation center that offers a golf performance program such as the one at the HSS Tisch Sports Performance Center: http://www.hss.edu/golfers-performance-program.asp. They can analyze your stance and swing and make suggestions for how to play golf safely with your new hip. You may also be interested in the educational content available in the HSS golf portal, Protect Your Game: http://www.hss.edu/golfportal/tips-for-protecting-your-hip-on-the-golf-course.htm.”

igel mears says:

I am due to have a revision from a resurfaced hip to a THR later this year due to the ball part moving resulting in significant pain. I am a 61yr old livestock farmer(pigs) and would like to know whether I will be able to do this after the op? I also enjoy going out on my motorcycle, which I have stopped recently due to the pain, I hope to be able to ride again, any advise would be great!!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Igel, thank you for reaching out. Here’s a response from the HSS Rehabilitation Team: “It’s great that you’re looking ahead and planning for your recovery. Talk to your surgeon about the specific activities that you need and want to return to after the procedure. Ask if outpatient physical therapy can be a part of your post-operative treatment plan, and if he or she agrees, start looking for and talking to outpatient physical therapy centers in your area. This blog post has tips to help you choose the appropriate physical therapist for you: http://hss.edu/onthemove/how-to-choose-a-physical-therapist/.”

Carol-lee says:

Here””s a good one. Female – age 57 – total hip replacement. Will it ever be safe to ride my horse again?

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Carol-lee, thank you for reaching out. Here’s an answer from the HSS Rehabilitation Team: “While horseback riding is not necessarily a high impact activity, it does include a lot of variables and carries the risk of falling, and as such should be approached cautiously. The best thing to do is to talk to your surgeon and ask him or her if and when you will be able to ride safely. A physical therapist may be able to develop a treatment plan for you to help you reach your goals.” Wishing you the best on your road to recovery!

Gary T says:

I am 3 weeks from the day I had a bilateral hip replacement. Pretty amazing stuff. My OA pain is completely gone. While I wouldn””t wish the first week or so after on anyone; I am now walking without pain, driving and running errands. I am returning to work full time next week. Small things I used to dread like putting my socks on, are already much easier. I still experience a dull throb and soreness in the evening, but attribute that to just getting stronger and more time. It””s nothing a few Advil doesn””t take care of.

Wow, I am really looking forward to getting back out there fishing in a few more weeks!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Gary, thank you for sharing and congratulations on your progress thus far! We wish you well on your road to recovery!

tom ruben says:

I may need hip replacement. My concern.is that I will no longer be able to build which often requires heavy lifting and bending. I also enjoy yard work which can also involve bending, lifting, and moving heavy objects. Far from.full recovery then, I can expect a total lifestyle change and surgery again in 10 to 20 years. Oh boy!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Tom, thank you for reaching out. Here””s a response from the HSS Rehabilitation Department: “If you think that you may need a hip replacement, we would suggest making an appointment with an orthopedic specialist who can perform an evaluation and advise you on an appropriate course of action. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your physician. For more information on hip pain treatments and diagnoses, visit http://www.hss.edu/hippain.asp. If you would like to make an appointment at HSS, please contact the Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 or by visiting https://www.hss.edu/secure/prs-appointment-request.asp.”

Beverly says:

I had a hip replacement and one leg is about 1/4 longer and now my back hurt also my other hip has arthritis . My doctor made my right leg a little longer because i would need surgery on the left he did say .how long can a person have the other hip done. After the firist surgery My surgery was done in. April 2015 and I am feeling off because the left leg is short and cannot like would to.also i was told I have atrihritis in my back on the side I had my hip done.will balance my back after the other is done?Ifeel like I am going to fall sometime also I did get a lift but it is still hard.

I had a total hip replacement last September 2014 at the age of 52. I was told I was too young because eventually the hip would wear out and they would have to do revision hip replacement which is apparently complex. I live on my own and was concerned how I would be after the operation. I was fine. If you are about to have a hip replacement try and keep your confidence that everything will be alright – it””s hard but it is the best attitude to have. When I left hospital I was given a book with the exercises to do. These had to be done 3 times a day and each exercise 10 times. I was exhausted after the operation, some of the exercises I could not do 10 times, so I done them 4 times waited 20 minutes and started again . Keep positive before the operation and after. I kept to a routine, exercise, rest walk. Rest is as important as the exercises. I had no pain after the operation. Looking back what was for me was I was so bad before the operation I was actually used to the lack of mobility, my mobility even though on crutches was far better after the operation. I am now fully recovered and it is like I never had the operation, so if you are on your own in this don””t worry you will be ok Having to get up and down and make your own meals or have a cup of tea actually helped me in a quick recovery. Need any tips let me know. Keep positive if you are about to go through all this. Anyone out there about to have a hip replacement best wishes, it was the best thing I could have done.
Shirley Buffham

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Shirley, thank you for sharing such kind words of encouragement!

Debbie K says:

I am 5 weeks from THR on left hip. I had alot of swelling and now I have bursitis! I do not see anyone mentioning this complication. Did I cause this somehow? I used walker for 10 days. Still using a cane because of the pain… I have started therapy… I did it expect this. I am supposed to go back to work next week…..

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Debbie, thank you for reaching out. Bursitis of the hip is something that you would want to have your treating physician look at to determine the best course of treatment as it can be caused by a variety of conditions. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

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