Question:I'm a person who likes to beat the odds. Next week I'm going to have a total hip replacement done. Can you give me some idea how long it takes to get back up and running?
Your time line will depend on several factors. First, the type of surgery you have can make a difference. The newer, minimally invasive operation gets patients back up on their feet faster. The condition of your bones and general health are important factors, too. If you're a smoker or diabetic, you can expect a longer time to heal up.
Studies show there is a range of times reported for different patients and surgical approaches. Time to discontinue pain meds varied from one week to one month. Independence in daily activities was reached in about two weeks. The use of an assistive device such as a walker, crutches, or cane was anywhere from one week to one month.
Some activities take longer to regain. For example it often takes six to eight weeks or longer to get back to driving a car or walking a half-mile.
The type of implant used also has an impact. It's best to ask the surgeon what his or her guidelines are for you. It's best to stay within the time frame suggested by your doctor. It's fine to beat the odds but not at the expense of a fractured or dislocated hip.Mark W. Pagnano, MD, et al. Two-Incision THA Had Modest Outcomes and Some Substantial Complications. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. December 2005. No. 441. Pp. 86-90.
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