What's it like after hip surgery?

CarolPM Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

I'd like to start by saying "Hello", but I couldn't find where to do that!

I've just gone on the hip replacement list and I am curious to find out what activities you can do once you've recovered from the operation. I'm a keen gardener and I want to be able to kneel and get up again, carrying watering cans and bags of compost, digging and raking and mowing the lawn. I also ring church bells which involves climbing uneven spiral staircases and standing whilst ringing for maybe an hour or three. I'm on my own and I worry about the recovery after the op and the many things you have to do and put up with for a considerable amount of time, having read all the posts here. My family is local but they have their own lives and I'm not sure I could cope without someone else here with me. Are their folks out there who have managed on their own?

Has anyone had the injection? I was thinking that if I had the injection now, it would reduce my pain and allow me to get the house and garden in order, and get me fit before the op which is due in July/August this year. Is this a good idea?

If you could give me your personal experiences, it might help me decide.


  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 807
    edited 24. Feb 2023, 14:03

    Hi @CarolPM

    Welcome to the online community its great to see you asking so many questions,all to do with after the hip replacement.

    I have had a hip replacement and have had no trouble getting back to gardening after 6 weeks and lots of exercises following after surgery guide lines which you will get a written copy and physiotherapy which you will need after the operation to get you moving.

    You seem to be a very active person and your muscles are strong or should be.

    Its up to you really what action to take it must be the best decision for you alone.

    I had help as i am with my partner,you will need some help after the op for a few days as you have to get use to the new hip.

    Hope my narative helps in some way.

    Here are a few links

    Hope all goes well for you please keep in touch and tell us how you get on and do go to our forums and chat to others

    All the best Christine

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    Hi Carol, congrats on getting "on the list". I've also had a hip replacement and am a keen gardener. I had a (painful) blitz round the garden before I went in for surgery, but I found I could potter about even on my crutches doing a bit of pruning etc a few weeks after surgery. To be fair, I had a few dodgy moments where I was pushing my luck, which involved a bit of crashing around in the undergrowth in a manner that would have horrified my physio, but I survived them. But you might find the watering cans, sacks of compost etc will have to wait a while though - at least till you're off your crutches. Everyone recovers at their own rate - don't necessarily think you'll be back to full functionality in 6 weeks, but you will see improvements week on week.

    You may find an uneven spiral staircase challenging on crutches too (having been up many myself for work) - I'd give that a miss for around 6 weeks at least, and I think you'll find standing for that long will be hard on your recovering muscles. Just start small and build it up. No one would ask you to do this if you had broken your leg in an accident, but the fact that we "volunteered" for this surgery doesn't mean the trauma to your body is any less. Be prepared for feeling physically and emotionally fragile for a while (which no one tells you about but is quite normal), and also for some degree of pain and discomfort for the first week or two but unlike the wretched arthritis, the pain levels eventually reduce, rather than increasing!

    While I'm married, my OH didn't need to helicopter me. I was grateful that he was doing most of the cooking and the shopping, but I found I managed everything else on my own perfectly well with a bit of ingenuity and forward planning, and the OTs will provide all the equipment you need. If you're on your own, load up with ready meals, and try to get someone to escort you on your walks out of the house for the first few weeks until your confidence builds up.

    The steroid injection has mixed results - some find it helpful, but in my case it was no use at all. It might keep you ticking over - it's certainly worth a try. See what your surgeon thinks.

  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Great advice from Lilymary. I had mine 3 months ago and now do most things I did before. The one thing I still can't do is put my sock on operated leg so need my husband to do that. Hopefully eventually this will happen.

    I am now doing my twice a day walks with my dogs totalling 7 miles. Probably shouldn't be doing this every day as I do have a bit of pain sometimes, but consultant said it won't harm the new hip. I haven't done it yet because of the weather, but feel I could get out the garden and do most jobs. As Lilymary said don't carry large bags of compost around. Get a member of family set you up. I would get advice about the bell ringing. Will probably be fine after three months but worth checking.

    If you could get a family member to stay for the first couple of days I would or definitely a daily visit just to set you up for the day. I did appreciate having someone with me. My biggest problem was not being allowed to bend. My gripper tool was my best friend

    I also felt a bit down and weepy about 7 days in. Be prepared for that as I found quite a few of us hippies on here were the same. It really helped knowing this was normal. Honestly it does pass.

    I went out yesterday walking and climbed over a stile as natural as anything. Haven't been able to do that for four years.

    Stay in touch. Great people on here with lots of advice.