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Hip joint replacement - series

Aftercare

Aftercare

This surgery usually takes 1 - 3 hours. You will stay in the hospital for 3 - 5 days. Full recovery will take from 2 months to a year.

  • Hip replacement surgery results are usually excellent. Most or all of the hip pain and stiffness should go away. Some people may have problems with infection, or even dislocation, of the new hip joint.
  • Over time -- sometimes as long as 20 years -- the artificial hip joint will loosen. A second replacement may be needed.
  • Younger, more active, people may wear out parts of their new hip. Their artificial hip may need to be replaced before it loosens. It is important to have scheduled follow-up visits with your surgeon every year to check the position of the implants.

By the time you go home, you should be able to walk with a walker or crutches without needing much help. Use your crutches or walker for as long as you need them. Most people do not need them after 2 - 4 weeks.

Keep moving and walking once you get home. Do not put weight on your side with the new hip until your doctor tells you it is okay. Start out with short periods of activity, and then gradually increase them. Your doctor or physical therapist will give you exercises to do at home.

Over time, you should be able to return to your former level of activity. You will need to avoid some sports, such as downhill skiing or contact sports like football and soccer. But you should be able to do low impact activities, such as hiking, gardening, swimming, playing tennis, and golfing.

Update Date: 6/22/2012

Updated by: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery (9/22/2011).

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