Rehab After Hip Replacement

For a referral to one of our orthopedic surgeons, call (813) 870-4747.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy are started immediately following surgery and continue throughout hospitalization. On the first day after surgery, the physical therapist will meet with you in your hospital room for an assessment. Your physical therapist will monitor the strength and flexibility in your leg and hip, as well as your ability to stand and sit. In addition, a physical therapist will provide goals and instructions for you to complete while in the hospital and at home.

Your doctor may determine that it is best for your recovery if you go to a rehabilitation center after discharge from the hospital. At the rehabilitation center, you will have concentrated time with a physical therapist and occupational therapist and will regain your strength, learn about all your exercises and the precautions that you'll need to follow. Your length of stay at this facility is approximately five to 14 days. Your physician, a social worker or nurse will discuss facilities available for your needs, and a Case Manager specializing in Discharge Planning will meet with you during your admission. The Social Worker handles all of the planning for your rehabilitation.

Positioning After Surgery

After surgery, your physical therapist will instruct you regarding hip movement precautions and any limitations you may have for range of motion. Keep in mind that your physical therapy and strengthening exercises will help you gain greater mobility and ensure an easier recovery following surgery. It is highly recommended that you continue therapy treatment for the recommended time frame prescribed by your physical therapist.

Your physical therapist will tell you that there are several basic rules about positioning that you should be aware of following surgery. Make sure that you do not bend forward more than 90 degrees, and do not lift your knee on the surgery side higher than your hip. Also, do not cross your legs or rotate your leg outward, or twist or pivot your operated hip. While sitting, make sure that you use a straight back chair with arm rests, and do not sit in chairs or sofas lower than knee height since they require excessive bending at the hips when sitting down and getting up. Do not sit on low soft sofas or on stools and remember not to lean forward or cross your legs. Since most toilet seats are lower than knee height, patients are recommended to use a toilet seat extension, which are available for purchase at a medical supply store.


It is recommended that you not drive for eight weeks following surgery. You may go out in a car (as a passenger) approximately three weeks after you return home, but make sure to avoid sports cars and cars with bucket seats because of the low seat height. To get in and out of a car, park the car several feet away from the curb. Stand on the street and turn your back to the car and sit down. Slowly slide back on the seat, keeping your legs straight, not leaning forward. Get into the car by swinging your legs around to the front of the seat, keeping your legs straight.