Most patients who undergo total hip arthroplasty will need to be in the hospital for 3 to 4 days following surgery.
After their hospital stay, many patients choose to go to a secondary rehabilitation facility for physical therapy and gait training.
Most patients stay at the rehabilitation facility until they are strong enough to function at home.
Other patients choose to go directly home from the hospital. Arrangements are then made at home for wound care, physical therapy, and administration of blood thinners.
In some settings, patients may choose to go home 1 to 2 days after total hip replacement. This decision is based on how strong they feel, the progress of their rehabilitation, and how much help is available at home.
In general, older patients with multiple medical problems tend to require a longer time in the hospital than younger patients who are in good general health. Linda C., a patient, says:
I spent three days in the hospital, a week at inpatient rehabilitation, and six weeks in outpatient physical therapy. After two weeks, I was walking without a cane. At two months, I was deemed recovered!
I could do steps in my office building, the elliptical machine, and long walks on a regular basis.
By the third month, I was back mowing the lawn and gardening, and I could walk a mile without feeling fatigue in the hip.