Frustrated with hip replacement recovery!

Edgey_75 Member Posts: 47
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hi 👋 it’s now over 4 weeks since my hip replacement surgery, I’m using just one crutch around the house and when I go out. I’m trying to hobble around my house without using any crutches but sometimes think I’m over doing it!

I’m getting so frustrated as I thought I’d be further on in my recovery by now. I thought I’d be able to walk with no crutches at all and be able to do light duties around the house, but I can’t bend down still and I can’t stand for long to do more then just wash a few pots.

Am I at the right stage of recovery? Or should I be further on?

Terri x


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,599

    Is there a 'right stage of recovery'? I'm not sure. We all go into these ops at different ages, with different health issues and, maybe most importantly, different levels of fitness. I'm sure Mr SW recovered from both his THRs much more quickly than I did from mine but he had no other health problems at the time and had kept himself as fit as duff hips would permit. The point is, we both made perfect recoveries.

    I think the really important things are the exercises. They strengthen muscles that have first gone flabby and then been grossly mistreated during the op.

    I have always found that brewing up my beloved cups of tea gets me moving for short periods - first to brew then to get to the loo😆 - but lots of other household jobs too. Meals can be prepped in short stages. I've just peeled carrots and sprouts. I'm now resting up before tackling the spuds. Forget bending. You don't want to risk dislocation. Just strengthen your muscles and the rest will follow.

    Do you see your physio again? If so, you could ask them. If not, just keep plugging away. It's not a sprint😆

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Edgey_75
    Edgey_75 Member Posts: 47

    @stickywicket thank you! I think I’m just being impatient!

    I see my physio and consultant on Friday, so I’ll see what they say.

    Terri x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    HI @Edgey_75 , I hate to say it but 4 weeks is still very early days. You really shouldn't be "hobbling around the house" without crutches at this stage - getting rid of them early isn't a mark of success, it's actually a bit foolhardy. The surgeons ask us to use our crutches for at least 6 weeks as it takes that long for the bone and the implants to mesh together. Ditching the crutches before then risks undoing that process.

    What you can do to improve your rate of recovery is your physio exercises, which will have the opposite effect of doing without crutches. Do them as much as you like, it will all help. But right now, the crutches are your friend. Hang on to them (literally!).

    It was a long time before I was bending down to tie up shoe laces etc - the grabber and sock slider were also my friends for as long as I needed them, which was certainly more than 6 weeks.

    But don't measure your recovery by doing without crutches, and let your body heal at its own rate. We're all different. And remember, this is A BIG OPERATION! and it takes the body a good while to rebuild itself around all the brutalising your surgeon has just inflicted on it. Take your time, be kind to your body, and be kind to yourself. You'll get there, promise.

  • Edgey_75
    Edgey_75 Member Posts: 47

    @Lilymary thank you for your reply,

    I think I needed you to tell me I’m ditching my crutches too early!

    It makes me feel better to know it’s still early days, I think that’s why I was getting so frustrated, I thought I should be a lot further on by now.

    Ill definitely keep using my crutches!

    Thank you!

    Terri x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    I was still pretty wobbly in week 4, and still getting very tired, with a fair bit of pain. I wish surgeons/nurses would warn us about this - we all think we're going to be up and about, pain free and gambolling like spring lambs as soon as we get home, but that's when the hard work really starts. You'll get there, but "steady as she goes" is the watch word.

  • Hi Terri.

    Just wanted to say congratulations on getting your new hip but please be patient!

    You have a long time to recover and there is no right time to be doing things, you are an individual and your recovery is unique. Use your crutches if you need them, being up and active is important and if your crutches help use them. Walking a little every day plus some gentle range of motion exercises from your physio is plenty, you are still mending bones and soft tissues.

    I graduated from two crutches to one, then a crutch or stick, then a stick. I still needed my stick 6 months after. I waited over two years for my replacement and my muscles were very weak and wasted round my hip, I am a year post replacement today and can walk where I want to without one but if I am going for a long hike on a rough surface I would take a stick for security. Still get an ache mid thigh after a lot of walking or standing but absolutely nothing compared to the pain before.

    Use what you need to allow you to mobilise safely and walk well.

    I still feel that I am improving a year after. All the best for your recovery

  • Sheelee
    Sheelee Member Posts: 152

    Hi Edgey75,

    Can I echo what Lilymary said and Stlickywicket. I was told 6 weeks. Apparently this is the period they also give for a fractured or broken bone, because it takes about that for the bone to have grown and started to bed in with the existing bone and your new hip, to the point whereby it is stable enough for the next stage.

    Were you given eg sheets or a booklet to follow, with exercises to do which alter each week? If not, perhaps you need to get on to the hospital for the programme of exercises you are supposed to be following.

    Also as Stickey says, incorporating household tasks makes it less boring than just walking steps. I've not done anything too arduous, but I am making meals (kept fairly easy to make and can be prepared earlier, to split up the task. I don't believe in standing over a cooker anyway!!) . I've been loading my washing machine and tumble dryer, and putting it away, washing up etc. I'm not doing heavy chores like vacuuming, bit fairly light duties. I have a frame with a caddy on it for carrying stuff. That's been invaluable for all those tasks.

    I have a yearning to get on with things too Edgey, but the last thing I want is to end up back where I was before the op.

    Thinking of you,

    Sheelee xx