Hip replacement surgeries aren’t fun (except perhaps if you’re a well-paid hip replacement surgeon), but they can restore your mobility and independence. Still, it takes energy and time to completely recover and start walking again.
Step 1: Bed Exercises
Most likely, you won’t be able to walk for the first couple days after the surgery. Your doctor/surgeon will tell you when it’s safe to do so. Until then, you can do some minor exercises in the recovery room to increase blood circulation in your legs and prevent any clots. Exercises include ankle rotations, bed-supported knee bends, buttock contractions, and leg raises. Stop if you feel fatigued.
Step 2: Standing
Once your doctor says you’re safe to stand you can do a few more exercises such as knee raises, hip abductions, and hip extensions. You’ll need someone to help you stand at first, but soon you’ll be back to doing it on your own.
Step 3: Walking with a Walker
You’ll likely have to use a walker for several weeks after the surgery. This will protect you from falls, while at the same time allowing you to exercise your legs, improving muscle strength and endurance.
Step 4: Walking with a Cane or Crutch
Many people then graduate from the walker to a cane or crutch. These offer some support, though not as much as the walker, and will allow you to get around a bit quicker.
Step 5: Walking Independently
A full recovery takes many months. But eventually you should be able to walk on your own once again. Take your cane with you at first, just in case, and start by doing 5 to 10 minute walks 2 or 3 times a day. Then simply work your way up to walking longer and longer distances.