How Long Does Hip Surgery Recovery Take?

Many of my patients who are candidates for hip surgery ask me how long their recovery will take.  Recovery time will vary based on a few factors:

  1. What type of surgery did the patient have?
  2. How complex was the surgery?
  3. What was the patients function status before the surgery?

The two most common hip surgeries I preform are hip arthroscopy and total hip replacement. These surgeries vary greatly, as do the recovery time from both these surgeries.

Recovery time after hip arthroscopy

After a hip arthroscopy, which is being performed for a torn hip labrum, or for impingement, patients are required to use crutches for 2 weeks.

My patient will also be placed in a custom brace for 4 weeks. Two weeks after surgery and often before then, my patients do not require any narcotic pain medications.

Some patients at the 2-4 weeks mark will already feel pain relief related to their injury. My patients begin physical therapy and rehab almost immediately after a hip arthroscopy.

Full hip motion is usually achieved by week 8 and my patient will begin to do interval training on a treadmill between 10 and 12 weeks after surgery.

Many of my patients who undergo a hip arthroscopy are athletes. By week 14 the patient will be working on sport specific movements and between 4-6 months after surgery the goal is to have the patient return to their sport, pain free.

Recovery time after total hip replacement

A term I like to use with my patients is “How long will it take until you are going to be happy you had the surgery.”

In the case of a total hip replacement most patients are happy they underwent the surgery within 6 weeks, some even sooner.

However, just because the patient is already happy they underwent a hip replacement does not mean that they are fully recovered.

Full hip strength and normal unassisted walking can take from 3-6 months to achieve after surgery. This recovery time has much to do with the condition a patient is in prior to surgery.

If you are suffering from hip pain, no matter what age you are, you should discuss the issue with an orthopedic doctor.

 

Dr. Michael Gott is a Westchester orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. He has also been an active member of the National Ski Patrol as well as a Member of the Windham Mountain Ski Patrol for 18 years.