Hip Precautions After Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip precautions are important guidelines for those who have recently had hip surgery to replace their hip joint and stop joint pain. Hip precautions are ways of moving around that help prevent hip dislocation or separation of the new joint until the joint has time to heal. While you’re in the hospital, your health care team will remind you often about following these precautions. Once you get home, you’ll have to remember to follow them on your own.

You might want to make a couple of “Follow Hip Precautions” signs and put them by your bed, your favorite place to sit, and in the bathroom. Hip dislocation can be very serious so it’s important to follow your hip precautions until your doctor says it’s OK not to. The common time for following hip precautions is about 6 weeks, but varies based on how quickly you heal.

Your New Hip Joint

Prosthetic hip joint

Prosthetic hip joint

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket is the acetabulum in the pelvis and the ball is the upper “knob” on the thigh bone or femur. The artificial ball and socket used in a hip joint replacement is smaller than the natural joint it replaced.

This means the ball can slip out of the socket when the hip joint is turned at a certain angle and pressure is applied before the joint has had time to heal. When performing hip surgery, the surgeon opens the soft tissues of the joint capsule and separates the thick muscles of the buttocks and upper thigh to get to the joint being replaced. After hip replacement these muscles and stretched tissues need enough time to heal around the new joint and strengthen to hold the joint in place.

Once the hip joint heals, the new joint will be held in place by muscles and scar tissue. The complete healing process can take up to six months or more depending on your health before your hip surgery. Following hip precautions can help make sure your hip replacement heals without complications from joint dislocation. Follow the hip precautions when sitting, standing and lying down. Following hip precautions will limit the movement of your new hip joint until it is fully healed and can help prevent dislocation.

Why Follow Hip Precautions?

Xray of dislocated hip prosthesis

Xray of dislocated hip prosthesis

Hip precautions are needed to prevent dislocation of your new hip while it heals. The joint capsule helps keep the ball portion centered into the socket of your new hip. Once these tissues have been cut or stretched during surgery, there is an increased risk that the ball can be forced out of the socket before these tissues have a chance to heal. Hip precautions are used to keep your hip joint in safe positions that will prevent dislocation by keeping the ball from pressing against the healing tissues. Depending on your situation, your surgeon may have you follow these precautions for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery while the tissues get stronger.

The approach your surgeon used to open the joint capsule will decide which precautions you need to follow. If the capsule is opened from the front edge, it’s called an anterior approach; opening from the back of the capsule is called posterior approach. The posterior approach is the type performed most often. The precautions discussed here apply to the posterior approach.

Understanding Your Surgeon’s Language

Understanding Your Surgeon's Language

Want to Know More?

Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten the take-home packet or handout that tells us how to care for ourselves. But most of the time we can only read half of it and what we can read, we can’t understand. You would think they wrote it for a medical journal.And, they may have. Surgeons speak in the language they know and they don’t have a lot of time to edit and prepare handouts in the best way for you to understand. That’s why I built this site. To write it so you can read it and understand it. For hip precautions your surgeon will say, “don’t internally rotate your hip too far.” So you think, “what is internally rotate and how far is too far?” Too far is easy – that’s when your hip pops out of the socket. You don’t want to do that. Very painful and dangerous. Rotate means turn, internally rotate means turn toward the inside – or easier to understand is “don’t turn you toes inward (pigeon toed).” Your toes are a good gauge of the position of the head of your new joint. If your toes turn in, the head turns out. POPS OUT—if it turns to far. So the best thing to do is keep your toes in a safe position. That safe position is toes pointing straight ahead. Whether you’re lying down, sitting, standing or walking—point those toes straight ahead.

Your surgeon or his handout might also say “don’t externally rotate your hip too far.” External rotation means turning your toes outward, the opposite of pigeon toed. Your toes gauge your hip, so the ball of your hip is turning inward. If it turns to far, it can POP OUT. Again, you don’t want that. Got it? Toes straight ahead.

How Your Hip Can Dislocate

Let’s look at a couple of examples on how your hip can dislocate. You’ll have to use your imagination a little—but imagining it will help you understand what happens in the joint and what you can do to prevent dislocation.

How hip and leg work together

How hip, leg, and foot work together

This image shows the relationship of your hip joint — where your leg joins your pelvis — to the rest of your leg. (Click on the image to see a larger one.) As you can see in the area inside the red circle, when your toes point straight ahead, the ball on the head of the femur fits well in the hip socket because at this angle the most surface of the ball sits in the socket.

As you turn your foot out or in, your whole leg turns, changing how much of the ball on the femoral head fits into the socket in your pelvis. When you turn your foot too far inward, the ball can pop out of the socket — which means your hip dislocates. Normally, your muscles and ligaments hold the joint together. But they were stretched during surgery and need to heal and tighten up. While they heal, use your toes as a guide to the safest fit of the ball in the socket. Keeping your toes pointed straight ahead is the safest position for your hip until your new hip heals, usually 6 weeks.


Bones of the hipIn the image to the right, you can see how the ball fits into the socket of the hip. This view is from the back — that is, as if you were looking at a person standing in front of you and they are facing forward. Imagine further that the femur (thigh bone) — the one with the ball on the end — extends down to the foot. In this view, their foot would be pointing straight ahead and the ball fits nicely into the socket and the hip joint is stable.


Turning toes inwardTurning the toes inward (the direction of the gray arrow) rotates the femur and the ball outward (the direction of the green arrow). If the ball is rotated far enough, it will pop out of the socket. In a healthy hip, the muscles and ligaments keep the ball in the socket. Right after surgery these ligaments and muscles have been stretched and need time to heal. While your hip is healing you need to follow your hip precautions.
Hip dislocation bringing knees upBringing your thigh up toward your chest (the direction of the green arrow) rotates the femur and the ball in the direction of the gray arrow. If the ball is rotated far enough, it will pop out of the socket.

Bending over does the same thing but instead of moving the ball it moves the socket. Bending your chest and pelvis toward your knee rotates the socket, and if the socket is rotated far enough, the ball pops out.


90 Degree AngleSo how far is far enough to pop out? A good rule of thumb is the 90-degree rule. This angle between the pink and black lines is 90 degrees. One line represents your chest, and the other is your thigh — it doesn’t matter which one is which. If you are standing or sitting, your back would be the pink line. If  you are lying down, your back would be the black line. To protect your hip, never let the angle between your chest and your thigh be less than 90 degrees.


To prevent dislocation in the new hip there are three basic rules to follow:

  1. Always keep your hips higher than your knees.
  2. Never cross your legs at the knees or ankles. Keep your legs apart.
  3. Never turn your toes inward or outward. When you’re lying down keep your toes pointed toward the ceiling. The direction of your toes can generally tell you the position of your hip.

The movements and positions listed below should be followed since not following them can cause joint dislocation. NOTE: The “affected leg” is the leg with the new hip replacement. As you go through the list of Do’s and Dont’s — think about the pictures above and how following these precautions will keep your hip in a safe position.

Always sit with your hips higher than your knees.

Always sit with your hips higher than your knees.

Point your toes straight ahead, don't turn your toes inward.

Point your toes straight ahead; don’t turn the toes of your affected leg inward.

Hip Precautions While Standing or Walking

  • Don’t cross your legs or ankles at any time!
  • Don’t let the knee of your affected leg go past your belly button.
  • Don’t extend your affected leg back behind you or out to the side.
  • Don’t turn the foot of your affected leg inward (pigeon towed).
  • Don’t stoop or squat.
  • Don’t twist your shoulders or turn at the waist toward your affected leg while keeping your foot still. Lift your foot on the affected leg and turn your whole body in the direction of your affected leg. The most common mistake patients make is twisting their body while keeping one leg still.
  • When turning, take small steps in the direction you want to turn mainly using your “good” leg. Don’t reach for objects by turning your shoulders without also turning your pelvis.
  • Don’t step up onto surfaces where your knee will be higher than your hips.
  • Don’t kneel on the knee of the unaffected leg (good leg). Do kneel on the knee of the affected leg.
  • If you had an anterior approach – do not allow the knee of the affected leg go behind your hip when walking.

Hip Precautions While Sitting

  • Don’t cross your legs at any time!
  • Don’t sit where your hips are at the same level or lower than your knees.
  • Don’t lean forward when moving to sit down or rock forward when standing up from a sitting position.
  • Don’t lean forward while sitting down, as in reaching for something.
  • Don’t sit in recliners. Recliners are hard to stand up from without leaning or rocking your body forward.
  • Add a pillow to your chair seat to keep your hips higher than your knees.
  • Sit in chairs that have arms. As you sit down or stand up use the chair’s arms for support and to control your movement. This takes pressure off of your legs and hips. It can also prevent you from naturally wanting to lean forward for balance or rock forward to stand up.
  • Don’t lean forward to pick things up from the floor.
  • Do get up and move around at least once every hour.

Hip Precautions While Lying Down

  • Don’t cross your legs at any time!
  • Don’t pull your knees towards your chest.
  • Don’t let the toes of your affected leg turn inward.
  • Don’t lie on the side of your hip replacement. If you lie on your unaffected side, keep a pillow between your legs to keep them from crossing. Also, be sure your foot is on the pillow so that the toes don’t dangle and turn inward.
  • Don’t lean forward when resting in bed such as adjusting blankets or pillows.
  • Do sleep on your back with a pillow between your legs. Lots of people ask if they can lie on their stomach after hip replacement. The problem with lying on your stomach is that it causes your feet to turn too far out or too far in. When your feet turn too far out or in, the ball of your hip joint is at risk for popping out of the joint socket. After the ligaments and muscles in your hip have had a chance to heal for several months, ask your surgeon if it is OK for you to sleep on your stomach.
Do not bend your hip more than 90 degrees.

Do not bend your hip more than 90 degrees. Don’t pull knees to your chest.

Do not turn your toes inward.

Do not turn your toes (or knee) inward.

Do not cross your legs. Don't let your leg cross the midline of your body.

Do not cross your legs. Don’t let your leg cross the midline of your body.

Hip Precautions During Activities of Daily Living

Cover Sex After Total Joint Replacement Booklet

Restrictions on your movement have an effect on your daily activities and how you do them. These are changes that can help you manage these new limitations.

  • Don’t use pain as a guide to what you can and cannot do. Use ice to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Place a wedge or two pillows between your knees when sleeping on your non-operative side. This will prevent you from crossing your legs in your sleep. You should sleep with the pillow between your legs for 6 weeks.
  • Use a raised toilet seat. A raised toilet seat can prevent you from rocking your body forward when standing up. This is a common cause of hip dislocation.
  • Add temporary handrails or grab bars in areas where you need support, such as near the toilet, shower or tub.
  • Don’t get down into the bathtub. A special bench can be used to straddle the side of the tub that you can sit on while you bathe. Adjust the bench so your hips are higher than your knees when sitting.
  • Use reaching aids to bathe. You should not bend over or forward to bathe.
  • Use an adjustable shower stool to prevent falls. Be sure to adjust the height so your hips are higher than your knees when sitting.
  • Have someone help put your socks and shoes on. Bending over to do it yourself puts your hip joint in a position that could easily cause it to dislocate.
  • Use a reaching aid to help with dressing. Don’t bend down to pull up your pants or tie your shoes.
  • Don’t reach down to pick something up while sitting.
  • Don’t lift more than thirty pounds. Anything you lift adds weight that your new hip replacement must support.
  • Don’t drive for at least six to eight weeks following hip surgery. When riding as a passenger, you may need to add a pillow in the seat to get your hips higher than your knees. Place a plastic bag on the seat. This helps you to slide out of the car easily without having to lean or rock forward.
  • Do limit stair climbing. When climbing up the stairs, the “good” leg should step first and then bring the affected leg up to the same step. Then bring up your crutches or cane. When going down the stairs, put your crutches or cane on the lower step, then put your affected leg down to the next step, and finally, step down to the same step with your “good” leg.

Preventing Falls

Besides making a wrong move with your new hip, you can also dislocate your hip if you fall. Therefore, it is important to prevent falls not only while your hip is healing, but afterward as well. Here are some ways to prevent falls:

  • Don’t climb stairs wit your arms full. Hold onto the handrails.
  • Make sure you can always see where you are walking.
  • Don’t carry things that are too heavy for you.
  • Use a step stool, don’t stand on chairs or furniture.

If Your Hip Dislocates

Dislocation of an artificial hip is uncommon, but may occur during the first 3 months after surgery.  If the hip dislocates out, it will happen in a fraction of a 2nd, without warning. If hip dislocation occurs you may have a “slipping feeling,” a popping sound, or see your affected leg get shorter and turn inward, causing pain in your thigh or knee. The dislocated hip may no longer be able to support weight. People usually know right away when a hip dislocation happens because you will feel severe pain in your groin and be unable to move your new hip fully. If this happens to you, call 911.

However, in rare cases the new joint can become just slightly dislocated presenting no symptoms. If you think your hip has dislocated it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call your surgeon right away. Do not try to stand up or walk with a dislocated hip—standing with a dislocated hip puts weight on the joint and could lead to more damage. Have someone call your surgeon right away. If you surgeon tells you to go to the hospital, call an ambulance to take you.

Do not try to stand up or walk with a dislocated hip.

Do not try to stand up or walk with a dislocated hip. Have someone call your surgeon.

Repairing the hip joint quickly can prevent another surgery. If treated promptly there are several methods used to put the ball back into socket that don’t require surgery.

  • The hip joint can be put back together by your surgeon. Light anesthesia and pain medication is used.
  • A brace may be needed to prevent another dislocation. This is common practice when the dislocation happened without an obvious reason.
  • In extreme cases the surgeon will have to operate again. These cases typically include: dislocations that are ignored for a long time, multiple dislocations over a short time period, and dislocations that can’t be repaired without surgery.

Questions About Hip Precautions

Q. Is it OK to have a baby after having a hip replacement?
A. In general, it is OK to have a baby after having a hip replacement. You should talk with your surgeon about you concerns and be sure to let your OB/GYN know that you have a prosthetic hip.

Q. How long should I use the raised toilet seat?
A. The purpose for the raised toilet seat is to keep your hips higher than your knees when sitting (in this case, on the toilet) which is one of your hip precautions. You should use the raised toilet seat for as long as your doctor has you following hip precautions that is usually for 6 weeks.

Q. Can I sleep on my stomach after hip replacement?
A. One of your hip precautions is not to turn your toes inward to prevent dislocation of your hip. When lying on your stomach, it’s natural for your feet to turn inward. It’s OK to sleep on your stomach after your doctor says it’s OK to stop following your hip precautions. Put a pillow between your knees when rolling or turning over onto your stomach or from your stomach to your back.

Q. Is it OK to lie or sleep on my side that has the new hip?
A. Yes, you can lie or sleep on the operative side but not for the first 6 weeks as there may be some discomfort in the scar area. If you are a side sleeper and sleeping on the non-operative side, you should sleep with a pillow between your knees for the first 6 weeks. Lying on your affected side will not cause dislocation. Dislocation occurs with bending at the operated hip of more than 90 degrees, turning your toes inward (of the affected leg), or your knee going past your belly button (of the affected leg).

Q. When can I put weight on my new hip?
A. If you have a cemented hip you can put weight on it right away. If it is a cementless hip then wait 6-8 weeks.

Q. How long will I need a walker to crutches?
A. You will need some help with walking for about 6 weeks. You will start with a walker and then use a cane based on how quickly you progress with healing.

Q. Can I get a handicapped parking permit?
A. Your surgeon’s office can help you get a permit.

Take Care of Your New Hip Joint

It’s very important that you take care of yourself by following hip precautions after joint replacement for as long as your doctor tells you to. Ignoring hip precautions after hip surgery increases your risk of hip dislocation. Hip dislocation can go undetected. Hip or joint pain is not always associated with the dislocation. Following hip precautions is the best way to make sure a dislocation doesn’t happen and possibly go unnoticed.

Comments

  1. Sharon Weist-Hoyer says:

    On the illustration of hip dislocation, where the woman is calling because the husband’s hip is dislocated, the words below is missing the word “one” as in someone. Just the English teacher in me catching an error.

    Thank you for the article. I am having hip surgery next Monday. I want it to go right, for my mother’s dislocated 5 times. I do not want to go down that path, not even once.

    Thank you again. Sharon Weist-Hoyer

  2. Media Partners says:

    Sharon, Thanks for letting me know about the error—I’ve corrected it. I genuinely care that our information is helpful and correct.

    Good luck on your new hip!

  3. I am looking at having my hip done this fall. I actually postponed the surgery last summer (09).
    My concern is really how active I will be after the initial 6 month plus stage.
    I am a fitness instructor, and have good muscle tone around the affected joint.
    I do experience pain at times, but find that exercise really helps, and the occasional tylenol. I am still able to get around quite well, however, my gait is funny looking, like I’m sometimes dragging my affected limb.
    I personally don’t think I’m totally ready for this surgery, however, if I continue to put it off, will I affect other areas of my body by causing more stress? Thanks for any help you can give me.

  4. Media Partners says:

    Susan, Unfortunately, whether to have the surgery is a decision only you can make. The great thing is you have good muscle tone which can speed recovery. Find a surgeon you really trust and ask him to evaluate any collateral damage you might be doing by waiting. It’s a good idea to find out how likely you are to have any of the common complications. Everyone’s health status is different and affects their risks when having the surgery. Artificial hips are made to withstand the activities of daily living and not the activities of sports and a really active life. Ask your surgeon about activities that you plan to do and if they can shorten the life of your new hip and if those activities are likely to cause loosening. Don’t take any information on this site as medical advice—it’s just for education so you can better discuss your options with your surgeon.

  5. i am a female nurse with both hips replaced, is it ok to lift and transport my patient male of 140 pounds. i have the hips for 8yrs and i am 40

  6. Media Partners says:

    Sorry, we don’t give medical advice on this site. As a nurse you know everyone’s health situation is different based on their own health status. Can’t you ask the surgeon that did your hips what he recommends?

  7. Ray Buttifant says:

    I would just like to reply to Susan’s concerns – don’t worry – everything will be fine after 3 – 6 months if my experience is anything to go by.
    I have had both hips replaced – first one 8 years ago – second one 5 years ago – I am now 66 years old and have always been active. Now retired I am doing as much – no probably more physical activity than ever.
    I visit the gym twice a week and go to two spinning sessions a week also. I play golf – 18 holes on a hilly course twice and sometimes three times a week. I ride a bike, walk, swim and am active in the garden. This year I went skiing in the rockies – so much easier than my last experience 20 years ago when my hips were agony and very restricted in their movement.
    I don’t have perfect movement or the felexibility that I had when I was 20 but I am so much better that I was before replacements. I wanted to put it off too – life’s too short – i should have gone for it at least 5 years earlier!

  8. Media Partners says:

    Ray, If you don’t mind my asking, why did you have hip replacements? Osteoarthritis? How long did they tell you your new hips would last? You say you don’t have perfect movement or flexibility like when you were 20. I also bet you’re not doing the things you did when you were 20. :) Do you have enough flexibility to do the things you want to do now? Also, you ski, do you worry about dislocation when you fall? Do you have metal on metal or plastic on metal implants? Did you get cemented or uncemented? Thanks for your comments.

  9. Ray Buttifant says:

    Reason – wear and tear = osteoarthritis.
    No idea how long they will last – for the type that I had I was told that there were patients with 15 years life and still going at the time.
    Sufficient flexibility for everything that I do – much better than before and I am working on it by regular stretching in the gym an at home and it makes a difference. Muscle atrophy prior to replacement has been reversed to something pretty near normal.
    With skiing, I can’t say that dislocation is a concern – I get myself fit before I go – my muscles are pretty strong now and I don’t take on difficult runs or moguls and I will not ski in icy conditions. I have fallen over from time to time but with the bindings set at the low end of the range for my height/weight the skis come off before they can exert leverage on my legs and this seems to work well. It may be of course that I have a problem between my ears that stops me thinking about it going badly wrong!
    Definitely metal on plastic – not cemented.

  10. Ater a hip replacement, will a female be able to have sex on top without pain.

  11. After hip replacement, can I have regular style sex with me being the woman on my back?

  12. Media Partners says:

    We have published an illustrated booklet on Sex After Total Joint Replacement that is used by hundreds of doctors and hospitals; given to patients. You may want to check out the booklet or ask your doctor or hospital if they offer the booklet to their patients. The booklet is mainly focused on sex after hip replacement, but also covers sex after knee replacement.

  13. I had my hip replacement on the 17/01/2011 so I am at the very early stages of recovery. At this point all I am doing is reading up on as much information As I can get, as I feel I didn’t get a lot of after care procedures from the hospital after my op,so not to sure what I can and cannot do,I found all this information very helpful, keep it coming,

    Thanks again

  14. Media Partners says:

    Glad you found our site helpful and left a comment. Hip precautions are very important for several months. Be sure to read about complications after hip surgery, and sex after total joint replacement. You don’t want any problems before you get to enjoy your new hip!

  15. Barbara Olson says:

    I had total hip replacement in 2007. Two days ago, while bending over putting on snow boots, I dislocated my hip joint. Pain was EXCRUCIATING. I had to go by ambulance to have the hip put back in place. I never want to go through that again, so hope I can remember to be more careful that I was that day!

  16. Elizabeth Kerr says:

    If a person has total hip replacement and is not cemented, how soon can he put weight on that leg? Ten years ago we were told that without cement you could not put any weight on the leg for a long time. I don’t remember how long.
    Are there new procedures for weight bearing without cement now?

  17. I am a 47 year old male. I am scheduled to have hip replacement March 25th. Will I have pain for the rest of my life? If the pain does go away how long does it take? I am scared that I will never be able to tie my shoes again and won’t ever be “normal” again.

    Also I live alone, will I be able to take care of myself? I am really scared. I talk with my friends but no one seems to understand my fears. I wish I could speak with someone who has had rip replacement so I could ask them questions about their experience but I don’t know anyone who has had it done.

  18. Media Partners says:

    James, I hope some people will answer you here and give you some confidence. If you live alone, have you asked your doctor about letting you stay in a rehab area of the hospital? Many hospitals have them and they are like assisted living within the hospital. You are mostly on your own, but someone is available if you need help. I’ve done a lot of research on hip replacement and I can tell you that you will likely have to adjust your lifestyle. Your new hip is not meant for jogging or tennis, but you can certainly enjoy other exercise like golf and swimming. You may have to change to slip ons. There are elastic shoe laces that can turn your tie-shoes into slip ons. Most of the people I’ve talked to are completely pain free and their hip hasn’t changed their life much other than airports, where the metal can set off the metal detectors, and for the first few months when hip precautions are so important. Be sure to read all of our articles about hip replacement surgery especially how to get your home ready for when you’re ready to come home. The best thing you can do for yourself is learn all you can and keep a positive attitude so you can do what your health care team advises and have a great outcome.

  19. John Graham says:

    Hi James,
    I had a total hip replacement in July 2010.which did not go according to plan.I was released after 5 days from Hospital & collapsed 2 hours after release due to lack of blood.I had 4 transfusions,a blood clot and an infection and ended up in hospital for 21 days.So not the best start for my new hip.
    However I have been carefull to abide faithfully to all the advise given on this website re twisting etc., & exercise regularly every day to strengthen the muscle surrounding the hip that was badly damaged in surgery.
    I do a lot of walking that I find relieves some of the pain & feel well on the way to recovery
    I certainly think if you abide by the precautions given by the experts on this site you cant go far wrong.
    Best of luck to a full recovery.
    Kind Regards,
    John Graham

  20. Media Partners says:

    John, Sorry to hear you had such a time! Why didn’t they do transfusions during your stay? Are you pain free now? Glad you found our site helpful. We spent a lot of time trying to get this right and also to help people understand the why behind the precautions. Hope you recover completely and have no further problems.

  21. James,

    I recently total hip replacement on Feb. 14, 2011, so I am still in early recovery at almost 5 weeks out. I can tell you that I have had very little pain after surgery (two bad days when I knew I had clearly overdone it. I had good drugs though that took care of it). No pain I felt after surgery was a bad as my hip hurt before surgery. I am still using hip precautions and they have become almost habit. I am doing some exercises to strengthen my hip. Physical therapy is also helping. I stretch a lot to loosen my muscles which seem to have tightened up some (I was tight before surgery too, so no change there.) I was pretty active before surgery (boot camp 3X week, plus spinning, rowing and elliptical). I did those activities until the week before surgery because it was just too painful anymore.
    I definitely needed help the first two weeks after surgery. My sisters came and stayed a week each and helped me with bathing, cooking and other daily stuff. By the third week I was able to begin doing tasks on my own (though my sister put up a week of food for me and my husband and son, which helped a lot). I used a walker for one week, and I am now starting to walk around without the cane. I am beginning to walk for exercise again (when I first starting working out 6 years ago I had worked up to 5-6 miles a day. I hadn’t walked much for the last two years because it was painful. feels funny to start over!) My doctor says after 12 weeks I can stop doing the hip precautions. I am still, though, planning to protect my hip for the rest of my life,. My doctor says except for running, I will be good to go, and my hip should last 25-30 years. I am 56, so hopefully this surgery takes care of me for most of the rest of my life.
    I’m doing a lot of research on what I will and won’t be able to do over the long term, but there doesn’t seem to be alot of agreement on all of it.
    Anyway, hope this is helpful. I think living a pain free life is way better than being in big time pain all the time. Being in chronic pain is nothing short of exhausting, and that is an understatement.
    Hope this is helpful.

  22. Media Partners says:

    Julie

    Thanks for your input. Glad to hear from someone that is not having problems and you have answered many questions that people have had. I have done tons of research and talked to many ortho docs and nurses about hip and knee replacement over the last 15 years because I want our site to stay up-to-date as well as our booklet on sex after total joint replacement. I think the thing to keep in mind about the long term expectations from your hip are to avoid activities that would involve pounding type stress, like jogging or plyometric exercises that include jumping. These type stresses can cause loosening. I have osteo in one hip and my doc’s advice about exercise is “never leave the ground.” I’ve also heard of a sort of wear-and-tear of the surfaces of the ball and socket from the friction of movement. Some types of prosthetic joints are more susceptible to this type wear so maybe you should research the type of implant you have especially if you want to do spinning or enough walking that would cause a lot of movement of the hip.

    Glad you are having success and thanks again for the feedback.

  23. To media partners,

    Thanks; those few sentences were the most helpful feedback I have received from anyone about long term expectations. All I know about my implant is that it is a Zimmer, titanium with a plastic socket (attached with 2 big screws!) and it wasn’t cemented. So I’m going to find out more about the actual size and model and see what I find. I would hate to give up spinning since it is my activity of choice, but if it’s going to cause me long term problems I’m going to let it go.
    And I won’t be leaving the ground anymore. My boot camp instructor used to be my personal trainer, so she is really good at working with me to modify exercises since she is already familiar with all my issues.
    Thanks again. I suspect I’ll be back with more questions once I get more info.

  24. Media Partners says:

    Julie,

    Do come back and share what you find out. Everyone is different but I’m sure what you find out will help someone else. The big thing is to learn enough to ask questions and discuss issues, pros and cons with the doctor like you have half sense. hahaha

    The docs will size your hip when they put it in to make sure it fits and has a good chance of staying in place and won’t dislocate easily. From what I remember it’s the metal on metal (metal ball and socket) that had the friction type wear. The plastic is so slick that I don’t think it has the wear issue.

    Do you watch House on TV? He had a show this year where Candice Bergen had metal on metal wear in her prosthesis and got some poison or something. Of course it’s probably a 1:1,000,000 problem and why only House was able to figure it out. hahaha

    Thanks again for your contribution to the site.

  25. John Graham says:

    To Media Partners.
    I had 2 transfusions in the recovery room after my operation.
    The surgeon said I had lost 2 1/2 ltrs of blood from the time I was released to getting back in A&E 3 hours later after I had collapsed.I had a wash out 1 day later and although some blood clots were found it did not total the blood I had lost. I have just been for my 6 monthly check up with the surgeon and he said it still remains a mystery how the blood was lost. I certainly did not see any blood on my clothing.
    On the pain front I am still taking pain killers but I think it has decreased quite a bit since leaving Hospital so I am on the mend thank goodness.
    Regards,
    John Graham

  26. Media Partners says:

    John,

    What is a “wash out?” That’s not a term I’m familiar with for hip replacement.

    Glad you’re on the road to recovery and getting closer to being pain free.

    MP

  27. John Graham says:

    To Media Partners.
    I was taken back to the operating theatre and the wound opened up.They washed out the joint searching for blood clots and any leakage from the vein that was cut.
    The Hospital called it a wash out so it must be a technical term that is used in the medical profession.
    Regards,
    John Graham

  28. Thanks for your earlier advice on research. I talked to my surgeon at my six-week checkup last week. He used a Zimmer Continuum acetabular shell with a polyethylene liner and a 32-mm femoral head. He used a posterior lateral approach and it a cement-less procedure.

    I was doing well at my 6-week checkup (almost 7 weeks). He said I had good movement in my leg. I am not limping. Right now I am walking (up to 2 miles in one shot), and doing some light bike sprint intervals for 30 minutes. I am also doing my hip exercises daily. I am still going to physical therapy twice a week.

    My doctor modified my hip precautions by saying I could ease back BUT he doesn’t want me in a position where my hip is tuned inward while my foot and bottom of my leg are turned outward (such as when you’re pulling on a shoe). He said that puts me at risk for dislocation. Other than that, he said I could stop the other precautions. He showed me a safe way to put on my shoe by propping my operative leg/ankle on my other knee.

    What I found immediately is that my operative hip is very stiff from lack of movement for 7 weeks! Even though he says I can use that position safely, I am too stiff to get there.

    But that position he showed me is actually a good stretch, so I am trying to remember to do it several times a day.

    I also found that when I started moving my leg more, the extreme stiffness I have felt in the groin of my leg when I stand from a sitting position is not nearly as bad now as it was. The doctor says that stiffness will probably go away within the first 6 months after surgery. My physical therapist says that soreness in my leg is usually the last thing to go back to normal after hip surgery.

    I’m actually surprised at how long it takes for full function to come back. I think doctors and nurses are so excited to tell you can leave the hospital after a few days and you can drive after a few weeks that they neglect to tell you it actually takes months and months to feel like a normal person with a regular leg again.

    But I have to say I’m pleased about my recovery and hope my hip lasts as long as the doctor says it will (25-30 years).

    I am still frustrated about lack of any real information about how long this model hip might last (though I did run across a couple of lawsuits), but I am still looking. If anyone has any info, it would be helpful.

    Julie

  29. Media Partners says:

    Julie

    Glad you are doing so well! I am totally confused on the safe way to put on your shoe — I’m a little slow. :) Can you describe that a little better? Is your heel of the operated leg propped on your good knee, or your calf? I’m really not understanding how your hip could be turned inward and your knee down turned outward. Is this while standing or while sitting? Help me understand this a little better so maybe I can put up an image. Thanks!

    I’m sure it will be hard to find out exactly how long a prosthetic hip will last because not everyone’s activity level is the same. Also, if you gain a lot of weight, that can affect how long the hip lasts. If you think about it, a natural hip should last a lifetime…but obviously all of them don’t.

  30. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

    That is correct: To put on my shoe and socks, my operated leg is propped on my good knee. That is the safe position.

    The position to avoid is difficult to explain. imagine sitting in a chair, then reaching down to the outside of your leg to pull on a show. Your knee tends to turn inward while you are pulling your foot outward to pull on your shoe.

    Does that help?

  31. I’m a 41yo male, and I will be 3 weeks post OP as of April 14th, 2011.
    Within the last few days I’ve been getting this popping sensation or a feeling like the hip is falling out. This only seems to happen if I’m standing still or within the first couple of steps when walking. If I sit and relax the feeling goes away and I can do my normal PT and walking. I’m using one crutch but can manage around the house without it. I understand that muscles have not rehabilitated and are not tight around the hip. Is this feeling of popping/falling out a normal feeling or occurrence?

  32. After surgery, what type of food or fluids can i take? can any of these cause a dislocations

  33. Kay Brown says:

    I am suppose to have a total hip done on May 23,2011 and find that all the cautions they just told me about (5/10/11) is overwhelming they provide a class that I went to yesterday. I feel this should have been told to me a good month ago. I am to do exercises to strenghten before surgery and 10 days I feel is not enough. When I came in to my doctor a month ago with a list of things to ask he said I was making to much out of it and never went through my list. I am wondering if this is the right doctor? He is considered a really good doctor but after reading all the advice on this sight as well as situations that happened I must say this information is helpful definitely. It also seems like a total hip replacement is not a simple surgery and that you are going to be up and around doing everything a person does before surgery. Can anyone tell me if it is important to do exercises to be in better physical condition a good month or so before surgery? I also had an MRI of my hip and he did not want to see it and only said he needed an X-ray? I am 64 years old and on my own. My son I had late in life is 21 and in college so I have no one at home to help me. Does anyone think I should look into a place to take care of me for a week or 10 days after but that will take more than 10 days? I am very concerned and your feelings would really help. They also brought up infections and that you can not have your teeth cleaned for 3 to 6 months after unless you take antibiotics? Actually I am suppose to be up to date with any dental work and currently have a cavity that needs to be fixed. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kay

  34. Valerie says:

    9 months after surgery for a fractured neck of femur and surgery involving non-cemented partial hip replacement, for the past 3 months I have been in severe pain when walking, although my xrays show the joint is ok. My thigh muscles feel really tight although heat seems to help, leading me to think it is soft tissue and muscle pain rather than a problem with my hip. This has made me feel despondent as I was doing so well for the first 5 months, and now I feel like an old woman walking everywhere with my walking stick! Has anyone out there got any encouraging comments to make to help me cope and be more optimistic?!

  35. Rosemary says:

    I had a hip replacement on 10 May 2011 and came home on 13 may 2011. This was my left hip. (I had the right one done in 1993 and I have had no problems with it). I used two crutches when I first came home but started using one crutch three weeks post op. I am now using a walking stick but I am able to get round the kitchen and bathroom without. I will still use the walking stick if I go out as I dont feel confident enough yet to go without and it warns other people that they should give you a wide berth and not knock into you. I am finding that each day I feel better than the day before. I am doing the excercises I was given as instructed and they definitely work. I was also doing excercises leading up to my op and that has helped as my muscles are stronger than if I hadnt. I would recommend doing excercises before the operation without a doubt.

    I hope this helps anyone having a hip operation.

  36. Im 19 and just had a ful hip replacement with titanium and ceramic joint. Very happy with the hip i was given. its been 4 weeks and 2 days since my opp and i am getting rather bored but i am loving the fact im not in any pain at all. slight discomfort from time to time but that is just due to the wound and teh fact im begining to walk with one crutch .. my phsyio said its nothing to worry about its just where the new hip joint is getting used more and the pain is just inflammation. i do worry that by being the age i am and having a full hip replacement that i might not be able to live my life to the full but i guess being pain free and perhaps not being able to do everything i want to do is worth it :) ..
    i hope you are all doing fine! .. i for one cant wait to start going for long walks

  37. My husband had a total hip replacement in June of 2010. He has been doing very well, but last week he carried a lot of heavy articles down to the cellar. Now he is in a lot of pain in the back of his leg going down from the knee. Could he have done something to the hip?

  38. Connie Dickerhofff says:

    My husband had a total hip replacement in January 2010 and has been trouble-free since then UNTIL May of ths year — since May 7th, his hip has dislocated 4 times. So far the doctors have not said why this occurred or have any explanation or recommendation on how to prevent it further. He is an active 64 year old and obviously does not want to be concerned about this being an ongoing concern. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Could this be a defective hip?

  39. J Bailey says:

    does anyone feel a “rolling” within the artificial joint? Is this normal?

  40. Christine says:

    Thank you all so much for your help and support. I had a hip replacement one and a half weeks ago. What your articles amongst other things has told me is need to be patient. I am relatively pain free except at night when sleeping on my back causes back pain and I cannot get comfortable. I live in Switzerland and obviously had the operation here. The language is French and I am by no means fluentso it is good to hear comments and advise in english. How long should i wait to have stitches out and how often should dressing be changed in meantime? I need to have my other hiP replaced ASAP what are your thoughts on interval between ops.

  41. Hi,
    I hope I am filling in the correct box.
    I had revision surgery on my left side on April 18th 2011. The old hip was removed. After surgery I felt weak and bled a lot. I had no strength to do exercises
    They gave me 3 units of blood as my blood pressure had fallen to 50. This gave back some of my ‘get up and go’
    I have followed the instructions to the letter. However after all this time I am in agonizing pain.
    I use my stick to try and walk. This gets me about half a kilometer.. The pain is on the inner groin area. It is so bad I respond like an animal and am terrible to live with. I feel I am going out of my mind. During a bout I drop things and cannot concentrate on the task in hand.
    I was trying to limit my analgesia, 2 Solpadol 4 times daily. However, my surgeon said to take Nurofen Plus.
    This is 200mg Ibuprofen and 8mg Codeine.
    I am taking them but still cannot walk far enough. I asked could I use a treadmill (slowly) but they said no.
    All I want to know is, has anyone else felt this pain and did it get better.
    I am used to exercise and am not avoiding it. I just physically cannot do it.
    The wound site is clean and not too scarred. However it is hot to touch. I do not have a temperature.
    Does anyone have any advice. I am used to pain but this is exceptional.

  42. chanda williams says:

    I really enjoy this site, the info posted is really helpful. I am new 38 and almost 2wks post op of THR. I didn’t believe when u guys all said u had pain but not hip pain just incision pain, well u we’re right. My problem is I shink I’m better than I am and find myself doing way to much so I’m exhausted by 7 lol.
    Chanda

  43. Judith Waltham says:

    I am due to have a total hip replacement in a couple of months and I am getting scared about the restrictions afterwards and the risk of dislocation. I have two very young grandchildren and am worried that i might not be able to pick them up or have them on my knee as I usually look after them one day a week , and am frightened that i wont be able to do it any more . Will I ever be able to bend down and pick them up and play with them on the floor. When if ever will I not have to worry about dislocation, I am getting in a state about it all, and thinking of cancelling the operation even though I am in pain when walking and in bed. At least I can bend down and pick up my one year old grandson from the floor .

  44. I had a hip replacement one month ago today….I have. in the last three or four days felt some pressure in the hip area. a pushing out kind of feeling. that I have not previously felt…Should I be worried?

  45. Jon and Teri, I had a hip replacement 12/07/2009. I had the same sensations that you both expierenced. I was told that it is scar tissue and it would go away. Eventially it did. I’m now starting to get intermittent pain in my thigh muscel and groin area to the point it hard to walk. I’m 58 and try to be active but pay attention to what I do. I’m a HVAC technician (air cond) and do alot of climbing, lifting and in awkward postions for my job. I’m not sure if the pain I have is due to this type of activity or not. Going to PT today to get an evaluation. Did 2-1/2 mos of PT after hip.

  46. I am scheduled for hip surgery in a couple of weeks, and my biggest concern is if I will EVER be able to bend over again. I have an old dog that I have to pick up and sit down for everything!!! (eat, drink and bathroom). I am concerned that I will not be able to care for him following the the postop time of 6 weeks. I am trying to make arrangements for care for him during that first 6 weeks or so, but wondering how I will do it if I can’t bend over after that. Any suggestions will be appreciated, and look forward to some responses. Thanks you.

  47. Media Partners says:

    Have you looked to see if there is a pet sitting service that you can pay to come to your house a couple of times a day to help you? Also, check with the hospital social services and see if they know of someone that can help you out. Our local hospital actually advertises that they will help care for your pets while you are in the hospital or during recovery. Are steps a possibility for your dog so he can help you care for him? Maybe your vet could suggest someone or have someone that can help you for a few weeks. Good luck, I hope you find a way for both of you as you will worry yourself sick if you can’t figure out something.

  48. Have had groin pain off and on. Sometimes pretty bad. Had surgery 13th of July

  49. I fell (over a dog at a party) and broke my hip Aug. 4, 2011. Surgery the next day for partial hip replacement. Dr. said bone was good just took a hard fall on tile floor. Recovery has been extremely fast. I’m using a cane only when I go out and am driving and doing everything around the house. I am 71 years old and quite active. Here is my question. I don’t have much pain in the hip but the leg at times is quite painful. I had knee replacement on this same side six years ago, Normal?

  50. Media Partners says:

    Lynette, 5-6 weeks seems a little soon to be pain-free in your leg. :) I’d ask the surgeon next time you go about it since your case seems unusual having had both him and knee replaced. Great recovery though, good for you!

  51. This site is has been very helpful to me. I had my right hip replaced 3 weeks ago, I spent 5 nights in the hospital, everything went as expected.Last week I had a lot of lower back pain from sleeping on my back and sitting around so much. This week is much better, I can get around easier and I can sleep on my good side part of the night. Also I found that walking around helps too. I have friends bring me shopping so I can walk around. My dr said it is just fine as long as I only do 50% weight on my operative leg.
    I live alone so my friend stayed with me for the first week, and now I just have people stop by on occasion to help with some house cleaning, and washing clothes since my washer and dryer are in the basement.
    At this point I am in less pain than before the surgery. I’m 53 and had arthritis. For the last 1 1/2 I couldn’t even take my dog for a walk without pain, getting in the car was very painful also. I don’t regret having my new hip.
    I’m looking forward to getting back to walking and cycling agian as soon as my surgeon gives me the OK

  52. Media Partners says:

    Thanks for your insight! Lots of people like to know what to expect afterwards, especially those that live alone. Good luck and keep going!

  53. I’m 4 weeks post op Total hip, age 57 , and a Nurse Educator.
    Ok the technology is so awesome but follow-up inpatient and outpatient I had to “Call the shots”. PT is the most ent amazing science of assessment and re-assessemt pin point ways to correct walking and mobility. I needed every visit. Why do so many folks go without this education and re training of gait and safety? Disolocation actually occuring several years later not just infirst 3 months. Physical Therapy for 6 weeks is standard of care to come back to full safe funcitoning. Demand this for yourself. Thank-you all for comments.

  54. Any harm if one takes serrapeptase post-hip replacement to help with muscle scarring and general inflammation?

  55. I’ve worked as a medical flight nurse for the past 6.5 years. I underwent a right total hip in early September. I am working with a physical therapist to get “tuned up” prior to return to work due to the cramped, confined space of a helicopter. Are there any flight nurses, flight paramedics, helicopter pilots, or others who work in a helicopter who’ve had hip replacement and want to share? My therapist says that I will return to work but I’m nervous about maintaining hip precautions while working.

  56. Joanne…I, too, am a nurse and requested physical therapy at my six week post-op visit. When I left the hospital, I was told to “get back to your normal life”. Well, my normal life is martial arts, biking, golf, and I work as a flight nurse. In my opinion, a lifestyle not easily returned to without rehab. I started P.T. at week seven post-op and even though it is slow, I am seeing some gradual improvement. I am hoping that I will be fit to work at twelve weeks which my doctor told me would be the time-span to be off work, although now I am thinking he meant light duty in twelve and then patient care a few weeks after that. Optimally, I would like to be back in the karate studio kicking, grappling, and throwing opponents in six to twelve months post-op. Even my therapist said that she could not understand why younger people do not have automatic referrals for P.T. post-op. Good luck with your rehab.

  57. Media Partners says:

    Joe,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. There are so many different occupations we can’t cover them all and it’s great to have you comment so others may learn from what you’ve learned. I haven’t heard of the drug you mention. I’ll check into it to see if we need to add it to the education on our site. Thanks again!

  58. jaime watkins says:

    I was 33 and told I had avascular necrosis in both hips from then on for almost a year. I was either walking with a walker or in a wheel chair. Before that I was skinny and active. Then In 2011 I had 3 sugeries. The first one shouldn’t have even been done. The doctor tried restoring the blood supply by drilling a hole even though the hips were already dead and over 50% collapsped. I ended up with infection. Went to a different Dr. and as soon as he looked at my report he schedule me for my first hip. It went good but, I was unable to do therapy on it due to the other hip.Three months went by and they did the side were the first Dr. did a procedure and it got infected and that side ended up with infection. I also lost some blood. Had to have 2 blood transfusions and then stayed a week for in hospital therapy. Things were going to be expected for about 4 months. I started hurting so I couldn’t do alot and because of that not only is my hips tight as a rock but my whole body is. My pain Dr. took me off of my medication and told me to take Aleve.I hurt so bad now I don’t want to do nothing. Does somebody have any good advise for me. I’m only 35 and I feel like I’m 90 and have now were to turn.

  59. jean, i had total hip replacement on right side 4/24/12 i’ve had good results with new hip..pt is absolutely necessary right from the start. the problem i had was my blood count was down so i had ti get 1 unit of blood before leaving the hospital…also fyi when taking iron med you need to take vit c with it so the acid in your stomach will work to absorb the irom properly…no one told me this so my blood started to go down about 8 days after i was out of hospital…luckily i caught it in time and called the oncall nurse and she told me about the vit c. within 24 hrs i was like a new person….the pharmacist or any of the medical staff at the hospital did not tell me about the vit c…i am 3.5 post op and doing better every day…still doing pt with therapist 2 times a week and then doing pt exercises on my own in between…i have found this site and all the feed back to be very helpful…

  60. hi im leigh from the Philippines. just found out this site because im kept on searching for an answer . I am a teacher , I operated for total hip replacement . last April 10, 2012. I would like to go back to work this coming June since we start our schooling in that month.. So i am confused if I am capable to teach or to go back to work as teacher this month of June. My superior or my principal told me to have a leave and go back to work if I am not using my walker as ambulation.. Is that possible? When can I start to work even with my walker.

  61. I right had THR right side on May 1st due to osteoarthritis. I am 58 years old. Stayed in the hospital for 3 nights and made to walk day after surgery. I was given a spinal anesthesia and my surgeon used the anterior approach. My blood count was also quite low day after my surgery and the dr recommended blood transfusion. I told him that Jim prefer not too, and he said ket’s observe if it improves before your release. They started giving me iron pills and Thank God, even my blood pressure improved. I was released without blood transfusion on a Friday and a nurse came Monday and took my blood sample to check on my blood count again. Did not hear anything so that means back to normal. On the 4th day at home, I was trying to get up from a reclining chair and somehow I felt something weird on my hip that started sharp pains when I walked with the walker. It was unusual and I was in tears. The next morning I was rushed to ER and fortunately, my surgeon was there performing another surgery. He ordered blood test and X-rays. I was in excruciating pain and was so afraid that I dislocated my prosthesis. After several hours, my surgeon released me and said that I must just a pulled a muscle and I am good to recuperate at home. He now ordered oa zero weight bearing on my operated hip side. The first 2 weeks was horrible and luckily my husband stayed home and gave me 24/7 care. I would wake up inthe middle of the night in pain and stiffness. My back kills me too. He started rubbing my legs with Kuang loon ointment which we bought from hong kong. This is more potent than tiger balm. Boy, it sure did helped me sleep and relieve the pains. I am only taking tramadol as I am allergic to drugs such as Vicodin or Norco. Staples were taken out on the 14 th day after surgery and the cut looked good and almost healed. I read to wait 48 hrs before taking a bath, but I waited 5 days instead to ensure no blood still coming out of the wound. Of course, my husband gave me my daily sponge baths. I am now on my road too recovery, slowly but surely. My PT comes twice a week and today, I just learned how to climb my stairs without putting weight on my renewed hip. A lot of prayers help! This site is so informative and it is wonderful to be able to share each surgical experience. Thank you!

  62. Hi, I had my left hip done a week ago today. I have been doing my exercises as told. Last night, my hip was tired as I may of been on it a bit too much throughout the day. I was lying in bed and when I pulled myself up a bit I had a sharp pain and was certain I may of dislocated it. After about a minute and standing up for a sec, I laid back down and the pain seemed to be gone (just weak) all movement seems fine and after a night’s sleep all feels good. Normal?

  63. what is the correct way to bend down after thr surgery

  64. Media Partners says:

    You cannot bend down (bend over at the waist) right after hip replacement surgery. You need to buy a “reacher” to pick things up off the floor until your doctor says it’s ok to bend your hip beyond 90 degrees.

  65. shadabansarialam says:

    Shadab

    Dear doctor,
    Last week I had undergone hip replacement surgery on right leg. My age is just 31 years and I do moderate work.
    The material used was ceramic on ceramic with big ball of dia. 44 in 56 socket.
    My question is when the problem of dislocation will be over. I means after 6 weeks or 14 weeks or will it be there lifetime??

  66. Since 2008 I was in severe daily pain with no relief. 2009 a back surgery proved to be of no help. Finally in 2011 I was properly diagnosed & had my 1st hip replacement December 16, 2011. Just 9 days later on December 25, 2011 I attended a neighbor’s Christmas party! No question, I did overdo but I was so happy to be in only half the pain I’d suffered for years I didn’t care!

    I had the anterior approach & am so grateful. The woman checking me into the hospital had the postior approach & will always have restrictions. But the anterior was not available when she had her surgery.

    The refief from pain was immediate & even before leaving the hospital I asked for the 2nd hip surgery & we got it done just 3 months later in March, 2012. I feel strenth returning daily – it is miraculous. I hate that I had to wait so long before finding releif, but am so grateful because the anterior approach would not have been possible.

    I had ONE restriction – do not fall! My body dictates what I can & cannot do or what to be careful doing & daily that seems to dwindle! I do believe now that I am able to be more active it is even improving to some degree my back problems. I will always have restrictions because of the back surgery, but the hips are 100%!!! I knew when I heard myself laugh again that I was finally on the right track!

    I highly recommend the anterior surgery. I was skeptical to say the least & cancelled & rescheduled a couple of times before I had it done then couldn’t get the second one done soon enough!

  67. Media Partners says:

    Suzette, Glad to hear such a good story. The anterior approach hasn’t been used that long, but is being used more and more. I’m curious if there are only certain people that can have the anterior approach. Did they mention anything about that? Or that you “qualify” for the anterior approach? Thanks for posting a good story and glad you are doing so well.

  68. I just had the anterior approach here in New York on May 16, 2012. I went directly into Rehab for 7 days. I was discharged on May 25 and started physical therapy the beginning of June. I finished my therapy on August 2nd, 18 days total. I have been doing well. In the mornings I feel very stiff and have slight pain. I take an ibuprofen and it helps. I have continued the exercises at home. I am able to bend down with no pain, walk up and down the stairs, I dance a little salsa from time to time to see how it feels and I feel fine. It is going into 3 months and I cannot walk like a normal person despite being able to bend, dance, etc.. It seems this operation affected my knees (I do have osteoarthritis). My knee gets swollen and it hurts to walk at times. I also have some pain in my thigh. Sometimes a burning pain. But before the operation my knees were fine except for flare ups from time to time. Many say that hip operations do affect your knees. At times I need the cane and at times I don’t. But I can honestly say I don’t have that horrible pain I had before the operation. I was suffering so much….couldn’t bend down, trouble sitting and getting up, painful getting into a car, very painful going up and down stairs. I felt so downcast all the time.

    Yesterday at the supermarket I had an acciident. I went flying. I slipped on a salad someone spilled and hit myself very hard on the rear and legs. I am so afraid. I took an epsom salt bath with very hot water last night but I believe I need to call the doctor and tell him. Maybe get some x-rays to make sure everything is okay with the hip. I filled out an incident report with the supermarket. Today I feel okay, but I am really scared that I hurt myself and don’t know about it. Has anyone had this experience? A fall after hip surgery? I’d appreciate your input. Thank you.

  69. Media Partners says:

    If it were me, I would go see my surgeon and at least get an X-ray to make sure the hardware was not damaged and nothing was broken or slipped. Falls are not good for a hip. And the peace of mind would be worth it.

  70. Thank you. You are absolutely right. After thinkring about this all day, I am making an appointment to see my surgeon next week even though I feel okay. At least I will have peace of mind if everything is fine after the X-ray..

  71. Hi again, in response to your question:

    I’m curious if there are only certain people that can have the anterior approach. Did they mention anything about that? Or that you “qualify” for the anterior approach?

    The answer is “yes.” One of the requirements is you cannot be overweight. The surgeon will ask you to lose weight before having the operation. I am petite so I was a perfect candidate.

  72. Media Partners says:

    Good, even I’ll feel better! :)

  73. Media Partners says:

    Thanks for your response. That will help folks out! As an aside, being overweight is the most common cause for hip replacements to fail. So stay petite!

  74. I just happen to find this site while doing some searching about those new metal on metal thr,i just want to say this if you have to get a Thr tell your doc to give you a cane,yea i know some of you will think the cane makes you look old, so what that cane can help your hip last forever,i got my 1 and only Thr in august of “1993″ and here it is Sept 2012 no complaints use a cane if you want to go for the long haul,you don’t need it while in the house by using the cane you take a lot of pressure off the Thr,ever now and then when the weather changes you might fell a little bit of aching,but that’s normal when you get older because nothing stays the same,everything changes.CYA

  75. Hi, my name is Amanda and I had my hip replacement done 5 months and I was wondering if I should be worried about getting sick and it affecting my hip?

  76. I had total hip replacement, anterior, titanium hip in December 2009. It was the best thing I ever did, after two years of horrible pain and no quality of life. I was thinking at age 53 that I would never play with grandchildren or be out of a chair, maybe even be on a scooter the rest of my life. I could barely walk. The pain was gone instantly! I did great until September 2012. I have lost almost 70 lbs. due to being able to exercise again. I usually exercise by walking in a therapy pool, because the water helped me not to feel the weight on my joints and the warmth helped the arthriitis in my other joints. In September, the pool was closed due to storms, so I got on a treadmill. When I pushed the up arrow, it jumped from 0.5 to 4.5 and I was running and flipped off, splitting my legs apart and dislocating my hip. Excrutiating pain, a trip in an ambulance, 6 weeks of physical therapy, but I was fine and living a great life again with no problems. Because of the trauma of that injury, I dislocated again on December 1, 2012. I had gotten comfortable again with my hip after 3 months. This time, I put my foot on the side of the tub, after a shower, to put some lotion on my legs. I turned outside my hip to reach my ankle and felt it pop immediately. Another ambulance ride and relocation. This time I am in a brace around my waist and thigh with a rod set to 70 degrees and 20 degrees, not allowing me anyway to dislocate. I cannot take it off, even to sleep for 6 weeks. I was told that if I dislocate again, I would have to have another replacement with less mobility than I have now. I am not good with the emotional part of it and the fear of another dislocation. I just wanted to say that my PT gave me excellent advice I wanted to share after my treadmill trauma. She advises all of her hip replacement patients not to use any exercise equipment that has the ability to control them, and thus malfunction, rather than the person controlling the machine. For example, an eliptical or stationary bike is o.k., but not a treadmill. She advises just to walk in a pool or on land. Even with two dislocations, I would have to do the hip replacement again, because it totally changed my life and allowed me to be active again and lose weight. However, any advice on getting past the fear of a third dislocation when the brace comes off, but how to keep enough that I don’t forget my limitations again and dislocate? I know…hard question!

  77. The anxiety of waiting for a third dislocation would plague me – is plaguing me. I’ve dislocated twice myself and decided that in order to free myself of this fear, I want a revised hip. Mine is 25 years old though, and the 2nd dislocation happened a little too easily – so everyone’s situation is unique and personal. I’m wearing a brace now too, and am afraid to take it off so empathathize with your dilemma. I plan to practice meditation to help me deal with the anxiety and do all the muscle strengthening exercises my healthcare providers have recommended.

  78. Had right THR 3/6/13. Dr says surgery went well, though my foot is still quite swollen. Difficult sleeping because I am getting up frequently (5-7x) to urinate. Had severe constipation in the hospital for 7 days I was there. Continue to have constipation problems now that I am home.When I first awoke in the recovery room, it felt like my stomach muscles had been ripped apart. Don’t feel that sore now but my stomach hurts some and I don’t feel right. Have no appetite. Feel lethargic and not really into PT. Have always been physically active and enjoyed exercising. Should I be concerned?

  79. I had THR surgery on 4/10/13 on my rt hip due to Osteoarthritis. I did my research, attended a pre op class and asked as many questions I could think of when I met with my surgeon. That said, I have felt overwhelmed, sad and fearful at times. I guess there’s really no way to fully prepare for all of the myriad of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges I would face.
    I wasnt prepared for the amount of physical help I have needed, -to shower, dress – things I take for granted- talk about feeling vulnerable! I also have a fear of falling- I have not felt this insecure about my physical capabilities before. I think my struggles with acceptting this has caused me to overdo at times, and paid the price with more pain and swelling.
    The swelling has markedly decreased this wk (wk 5). I started PT last wk, which brings up my burning question. Why isn’t PT a more central part of this post op phase of rehab? My insurance company allowed 2 home PT and RN visits. I was told that walking (with my cane) would be all I need to get back on my feet! This plan come to find out will only address part of the necessary components of post op hip rehab. I see that the weakness in my leg was not solely related to the swelling, and that I not only need (professional) gait training but muscle strengthening excersise to have an optimal outcome.
    Ps – thanks Media Partners and everyone for their informative posts!

  80. I had a total hip replacement (osteoarthritis) in November 2012, and six months later am doing pretty well. There’s still a slight bit of pain at the hip, and my IT band gets tight and uncomfortable with walking distances. I also feel a bit weak in the affected leg when going uphill or upstairs. These symptoms have been improving over time, and I’m hoping that improvement continues. I’m going in for massage therapy once a month and giving a Feldenkrais class a try.

    I’m an athletic 60-year-old woman (rock-climbing and hiking were my favorite outdoor activities). I’ve just started feeling good about hiking hills and uneven terrain, and have recently done a couple of six mile hikes with no signs that I’ve been overdoing. I’m thinking about trying very cautious indoor climbing at a local gym — no falling or hard landings allowed! And no fancy internal rotation moves.

    My range of motion is quite good, and I find myself able to do a lot of things that make me wonder about how much I’m increasing my risk of dislocation. Forward bends are almost back to what I did before surgery — really happy to be able to cut my own toenails and get shoes on (although not as easily as before). My surgery was done with a posterior approach. What kind of return to normal range of motion is possible and safe? I don’t want to be stupid about doing too much, but neither do I want to give up abilities that I don’t have to.

    Can someone sit cross-legged on the floor comfortably eventually? What does a really successful hip replacement allow for? How much weight is too much to lift? The 25 lb. bag of dog food was a bit much for my hip today — can I ever hope to go backpacking again?

    I guess it’s mostly people with questions or problems who come to this site, but perhaps someone has insights to offer me. Wishing you all happy hips!

  81. I had a hip replacement in October 2011 which unfortunately dislocated 2 weeks after the surgery. Since then I have been quite cautious, not wanting to experience that intense level of pain again. Recently I have become aware of my hip making a noise when I’m bending, is this natural? It is quite disconcerting at the time and quite embarrassing if in company!

    Many thanks and best wishes to all awaiting replacement relief.

  82. Donna Hare says:

    Donna.
    Had right THR 8 months ago. I am 68 years. Have had few problems with recovery and have resumed most activities including lifting, carrying. I daily do the recommended PT exercises in the morning and walk an hour every day.
    However, two weeks ago I returned to a social dance group and for 3 hours was enjoying spinning round and shiftng from side to side. Two days later I began having pain in my new hip. I have had difficulty determining whether it is my lower back? but sometimes it seems to be mid thigh on the replacement leg. The pain is strong enough to cause me to stop stepping forward. To avoid the discomfort I tighten my muscles and wait to get control before attempting to move. Could the twisting of my body while dancing have disturbed the healing of the bone to the prosthesis in my thigh?
    Has anyone had a problem with the bone losening?

  83. imgot my left hip replaced 2 years ago.
    After such a short time it discloated,
    it was put back into place just manuplated
    I am fierece worried now it might happen again
    as doctor said he couuld not guarantee it to be successful
    what do u think
    thanks

  84. I am a 57 year old male who teaches collision repair – long hours on concrete, laying on the floor, working with my hands, etc. Fifteen days ago I had a THR on my left hip: Zimmer polyethylene and ceramic using the posterior approach (BMI too high!).

    I have been very thorough with my exercises, doing them four times a day. Sometimes I take 45 minutes to complete the circuit: 30 reps of 4 exercises, holding each rep for a count of 5 and take it easy if it starts to hurt.

    I stopped using my walker after 10 days, I didn’t like using the cane (after I placed it on a sock on hardwood floors!)and it actually felt good to stretch out the hip by walking on it. My Discharge Instructions stated: Activity as tolerated/Full weight bearing (FWB), so I didn’t worry about it and haven’t used the walker since last week.

    My question is: Are there any others who feel the need to walk on the hip so soon, and am I doing any damage to the hip by placing the full weight on it so soon?

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