Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I'm looking for any help you can give me about activity level after a hip resurfacing procedure. My surgeon just told me to "take it easy" and gradually get back into the swing of things. But that's not very helpful. I want to know things like can I run, how far, on what kind of surfaces? Same thing for tennis -- how often can I play? Doubles okay? Singles?

Answer:

Don't be afraid to call your surgeon back and ask these specific questions. He or she may not know what level of activity you would like to engage in. Hip joint resurfacing is a fairly new procedure. In fact, it's new enough that standard guidelines for post-operative activity based on sound evidence just aren't available yet. Each surgeon advises his or her patients based on what we do know combined with your own individual patient factors (e.g., condition of your bones, your age, your general health). There is general agreement that patients should avoid putting full weight on the leg during the first weeks after surgery. Partial-weight bearing is usually advised for the first week with crutches or two canes. The crutches and canes can be replaced in the second week with a single cane. The cane can be eliminated after that according to how comfortable the patient is with walking unaided. Following a six-week program of rehab exercises, patients are allowed to gradually increase their activity level (frequency, intensity, and duration) as tolerated. That means you go at your own pace and as your surgeon put it so well, "gradually get back into the swing of things." If it's any help, a group of German surgeons followed 152 patients for two years after their hip resurfacing procedure to see what kind of activity level they achieved. They found that adults under age 55 were more likely to stay active and at a higher level of activity. Men were more active before surgery but the participation level between men and women evened out after surgery. Only a small percentage (two per cent) of the people in the study gave up their sports involvement. Tennis and skiing were the two activities patients gave up most often. The number of patients involved in high-level sports definitely decreased after the hip resurfacing procedure. Some of the changes made were based on their physician's recommendation. Some changes in behavior was attributed to their own fears and uncertainties. Marc Manerjee, MD, et al. Sports Activity After Total Hip Resurfacing. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. June 2010. Vol. 38. No. 6. Pp. 1229-1236.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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