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How long is the average recovery time for hip-replacement surgery?

Samuel S. Wellman, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Recovery  times depend on a number of factors and can vary widely among patients. In general, however, many patients who adhere to their doctors’ post-surgical instructions—regarding physical therapy, follow-up visits, and medications, for example—are feeling good within three to four weeks. Most are able to resume their normal activities two to four months post-surgery.
While hip replacement is always major surgery, today’s less invasive surgical techniques are helping to shorten recovery times and reduce pain and complication risks. Less invasive options for hip replacement—all of which require incisions about four to six inches long, made in different places—include:
  • Anterior approach with fracture table
  • Small-incision modified anterolateral
  • Small-incision posterior
  • Small-incision lateral
  • Trochanteric approach
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, depending on patients’ individual circumstances, but regardless of the procedure used, outcomes tend to be similar after about six weeks, studies show. The most critical factor to a good outcome is to have an experienced surgeon who is dedicated to performing hip-replacement surgery.

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