Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery and Postoperative FAQs

Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery and Postoperative FAQs

How long will my hip replacement last?

A hip replacement operation is permanent. The artificial hip joint often lasts for between 15 and 20 years. This means that most patients only undergo one hip replacement in their lifetime, with the exception of those patients who suffer from surgical complications such as an infected prosthesis, or those who have their hip replaced at a young age.

These repeat operations are often more complicated and less successful, but in most cases, they still improve hip function and reduce pain. You should follow general health advice to get the best long term results from your operation. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and staying hydrated.

When will I feel completely recovered after hip replacement surgery?

It is normal for your recovery to take between 3 to 6 months. After this time, you should feel like your usual self again and be able to partake in hobbies and sports as you did before the hip replacement surgery. It is therefore advised that you plan ahead.

Please ensure to discuss any specific sports or hobbies with your surgeon prior to your surgery. If you have a major event coming up such as a wedding, plan your surgery at least 6 months before if possible. Patients heal at different speeds, so it's important to be realistic in your expectations and not push yourself before you're ready.

When can I shower after hip replacement surgery?

Your surgeon will give you specific advice on how to wash and bathe after the hip replacement surgery.  In general, you may not shower or bathe as normal for the first two weeks in order to keep the wound dry and to protect you from falling whilst you are still improving your mobility. During this time, its suggested strip washing one area at a time instead.

After this time, you will be able to shower normally (assuming there is step-free access), but will not be able to sit in a bath for around 8 weeks. You must follow your surgeon’s specific aftercare advice to ensure the best results possible.

What are the effects of smoking, drugs & alcohol on hip replacement surgery?

Smoking, drinking excessively and taking recreational drugs can increase your risk of a number of surgical complications. This is why we advise you to cut back on alcohol, refrain from taking drugs and stop smoking well in advance of the operation. Most surgeons ask that you are smoke and nicotine-free for at least 6 weeks before and after hip replacement surgery.

Published: Monday 3 January 2022

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