Doctors typically clear patients for normal activities at six or eight weeks following hip replacement surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Full recovery with unrestricted use of a new hip can take six months to a year. Physical therapy to aid with recovery usually begins while a patient is still in the hospital and continues several times a week after discharge, states the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.
The hospital stay for a hip replacement lasts four to six days, according to WebMD. As soon as the day after surgery, patients begin physical therapy to start walking before they leave the hospital. Patients cannot drive themselves for the first three to six weeks following a hip replacement, but therapists encourage them to try to walk as much as they can without overtaxing their new joint, according to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Hip replacement patients should avoid stairs during their first few weeks home after surgery due to the risk of falling.
After initial recovery, hip replacement patients have to avoid certain postures, states WebMD. Patients should not squat or bend at the waist for the first six to 12 months after their operations. Accommodations, such as raised toilet seats and straight-backed chairs, can help patients avoid positions likely to hinder their recoveries.