Either on the day of surgery or the following morning the ward physiotherapist will start with gentle exercises such as standing and transferring weight from one foot to the other.
With modern approaches to the hip joint the soft tissue damage is minimal and you will hopefully be surprised by how quickly you progress in the days following surgery. There average length of stay is three night but your physiotherapist and nurse will check that you are suitable for discharge before going home. A small number of patients might require transfer to a rehab facility before going home.
When you leave hospital you will have a splash proof dressing covering the wound. You can have a shower at home with this dressing but do not stream water directly onto it. All sutures are dissolvable under the skin and therefore there are no sutures that need to be removed.
With modern approaches to the hip a return to driving can often occur within a few weeks of surgery. As a general rule you can return to driving when you can stand on the operated leg lifting your other leg off the ground for three seconds without holding onto anything. If you drive an automatic car and your surgery has been on your left side you can drive whenever you can get in the car.
Again, everyone’s recovery is different and a lot will depend on your rate of recovery, your age and the type of work you perform. You might be able to return to light duties at work at 2 weeks, but it might take 6 weeks or more before you can return to more active jobs. A lot of the decision to return to work is based around how confident you feel to return to work. You won't damage your hip by returning to work.
For more information on what to do after total hip replacement surgery, please call my rooms on 1300 447 563 or complete our online enquiry form.