The Road to Normal Walking After Hip Surgery

The Road to Normal Walking After Hip Surgery

Hip surgery is a common procedure for individuals who have suffered from a hip injury or are experiencing severe hip pain that significantly impacts their quality of life. While the surgery can provide relief, it also requires significant rehabilitation to return to normal walking.

In this post, we will outline the steps that you can expect to take in your road to normal walking after hip surgery, based on general guidelines for most surgeries. Keep in mind that everyone’s recovery timeline is different, and you should always follow the specific instructions provided by your surgeon and rehabilitation team.

Immediately Following Surgery

After hip surgery, you can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days to manage pain and monitor any potential complications. During this time, it’s essential to follow the instructions provided by your medical team closely. This includes taking medications as prescribed, resting, and participating in physical therapy exercises to begin regaining mobility.

In general, the first few days after surgery will be marked by small movements to increase flexibility around the hip joint without putting too much strain on the incision site.

Weeks 1-2

After being discharged from the hospital, you’ll likely begin attending physical therapy sessions regularly. During this time, most doctors will allow you to put partial weight on the affected leg, using crutches or a walker to avoid overloading the hip joint.

The focus of this stage is exercising the muscles around the hip joint and increasing range of motion gradually. It’s also essential to keep the surgical area clean and dry, maintain a healthy diet, and get plenty of rest to promote healing.

Weeks 3-6

Around week three, physical therapy will advance to more complex exercises that involve resistance training and targeted muscle workouts. During this time, you may begin to walk with a cane instead of crutches, depending on your progress.

This stage focuses on building strength and endurance while still protecting the surgical site. It’s crucial not to overexert the muscles, as doing so can cause setbacks in your recovery.

Weeks 6-12

Around week six, you may be able to return to some of your daily activities, such as driving or light housework. During this stage, physical therapy will focus on regaining strength and mobility fully.

Most people can expect to ditch the cane or walker during this stage, but it’s essential to continue taking things slowly and avoiding strenuous activity that could set back healing.

Months 3-6

By month three, most people can begin more aggressive physical therapy exercises, such as cycling or swimming. By month six, many individuals can return to their usual level of physical activity, though some restrictions may still apply, depending on the type of surgery and individual progress.

It’s also essential to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of rest during this stage to promote full recovery.


While the road to normal walking after hip surgery can be long and challenging, adhering to your recovery plan while maintaining a positive attitude can help speed up the process. Always follow your surgeon and physical therapist’s specific instructions and listen carefully to your body to avoid setbacks that could prolong recovery.

Remember, everyone’s recovery timeline is different, so don’t compare yourself to others or become discouraged if it takes longer than you anticipated. With time, patience, and a commitment to physical therapy, you can regain full mobility and return to your usual activities after hip surgery.

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