Total Hip Replacement Rehabilitation – What You Need to Know

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics hip replacement surgery

Total hip replacement surgery has excellent results for chronic hip pain patients. Patients with hip problems due to age, arthritis, sports injuries, or diseases such as osteonecrosis can enjoy increased strength, mobility, and pain relief, after surgery. According to, “90% – Of patients who had moderate pain before their first surgery reported mild or no pain after five years.” The success rate of hip replacement surgery has increased, making it a reliable way for patients to get back to the activities they love doing.

While the surgery is beneficial, postoperative care is a big part of its success. Here’s what you need to know about recovering from hip replacement surgery.

How To Manage Your Pain

Effective pain management is the first step. Beyond prescribed NSAIDs and judicious use of opioids, techniques like deep breathing, cold packs, and elevation can help alleviate discomfort.

Take Care of Your Surgical Wound Care

A clean, infection-free surgical site is vital. Regular inspections for signs of redness, unusual discharge, or swelling, combined with gentle cleaning and timely dressing changes, ensure a healthier healing process.

Physical Rehabilitation: Early Mobility

A little movement goes a long way. Guided by a physical therapist, gentle exercises like ankle pumps, supported knee bends, or muscle contractions can set the tone for quicker recovery. Early days post-surgery are all about rediscovering movement. Assisted walks using crutches or walkers, combined with basic exercises, lay the foundation for muscle strength and joint flexibility.

Progressive Physical Therapy

As weeks roll on, physical therapy takes center stage. Tailored exercise regimens are introduced, from stretching hip flexors to strengthening core muscles. It’s a journey of incremental milestones, each bringing you closer to optimal mobility. With recovery, you’ll graduate from walkers to canes, signaling increasing strength and stability. The aim is to walk unassisted with confidence.

Potential Postoperative Complications

Deep vein thrombosis is something to look out for. Early detection is crucial. Symptoms like calf swelling, warmth, or localized pain need immediate attention. Preventative measures include compression stockings, blood thinners, and early mobilization.


A fever, chills, persistent wound discharge, or localized warmth may indicate an infection. Regular wound inspections and maintaining cleanliness are preventative essentials.

Hip Dislocation or Loosening

Experiencing acute pain or a popping sensation may indicate a problem. Avoiding extreme hip movements and following physiotherapy guidelines can minimize these risks.

Long-Term Care and Considerations

Post-hip replacement life might need minor adjustments. Think ergonomic chairs, not sitting cross-legged, and using tools to prevent excessive bending (like grabbers for objects).

Staying active ensures joint longevity. Low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, or cycling can keep the body and the new joint in peak condition. Routine visits to the orthopedist help monitor the implant’s condition, ensuring any potential issues are addressed early.

The path to recovery post-hip replacement surgery is nuanced, but proper postoperative care can smooth the journey. With knowledge and diligence, you can look forward to a mobile, pain-free life.

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.

If you have any additional questions about postoperative hip replacement care or are ready for your hip replacement, contact Carolina Regional Orthopedics, P.A. at 252-443-0400.