After a hip replacement surgery, the recovery process is very important and many will have precautions to avoid hip dislocation where the hip might come out of its socket. Six weeks post-op is often marked by several transitions during the recovery process, which are essential to regaining strength and function.
Many patients are required to use a walker after surgery, however some have good balance and upper body strength and may use crutches instead. The use of a cane depends on the ability to place weight on the leg and the ability to regain your strength following the hip replacement. By six weeks post-op, you should be able to walk unassisted without assistive devices.
In the hospital, you will probably meet with a physical therapist to help you get up and down the steps with the aid of a walker or crutches. Six weeks after the surgery, you should be capable of walking up and down the stairs with no or little assistance.
Although the return to driving usually occurs around four to six weeks post-op, it may take a little longer depending on whether you drive an automatic or stick shift vehicle, and depending on the side surgery was performed. Before operating a vehicle, you should be able to operate the brake and accelerators and should be off narcotic medications.
Around six weeks after a hip replacement surgery, you should be able to return to sexual activity. You should speak with your physical therapist or surgeon about positions that will not cause pain, discomfort or complications.
Your ability to return to your job after hip replacement will depend on the type of job you have and whether you can limit walking or lifting. Patients who have a highly physical position may need to delay the return to full duty for approximately 10 weeks post-op. If you have limited physical activity at your workplace, you should be able to return to your work within six weeks after your operation.
It can take a few months for some patients to recover, so it is important to pace yourself as everyone heals at different rates.
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