Before Total Hip Replacement: Preparing for Your Recovery

Woman exercising with hand weight.

You may be nervous about getting a new hip. But the better prepared you are before surgery, the easier your recovery program (rehabilitation, or rehab) is likely to be. That’s because preparing helps give you the strength and skills you’ll need after surgery. So start preparing now. Your healthcare team will be there to help.

Why preparing for recovery helps

You can make your recovery quicker and more comfortable by:

  • Building muscles that support your hip joint. This helps keep your hip stable while you’re healing.

  • Strengthening your arms, so it will be easier to use walking aids after surgery.

  • Preparing your home before surgery. This will make it easier and safer to get around.

  • Learning how to protect your new hip is very important. After surgery, you may need to avoid certain movements, like crossing your legs or turning your feet inward. You’ll also need to avoid raising your knees higher than your hip. Your surgeon and therapists will help you learn and remember these precautions.  

Your team

To prepare for surgery and recovery, you’ll work with a healthcare team:

  • Your physical therapist (PT) will design a movement program to build strength and aid recovery.

  • Your occupational therapist (OT) will teach you how to make daily activities safer and easier.

  • Your orthopaedic surgeon will perform the surgery and manage your overall treatment.

  • Your nurse or case manager will coordinate your care.

Understanding your role

When it comes to preparing for recovery, much of the work is up to you. Make time each day for the exercises your healthcare provider gives you. Always follow your physical therapist’s or surgeon’s instructions.