Recovering from hip surgery

Recovery from any type of hip surgery doesn’t wait until you get home; in fact, the recovery process begins almost immediately. However, once you have returned home, you will need to be patient with yourself as you recover from surgery as it will take time to regain strength and mobility in your hip.

Depending on the surgery you had, you may experience bruising and sensations such as tingling, numbness, and itching in and around your hip. You may also feel a slight pulling around any stitches when you move your leg. This is a perfectly normal part of the healing process and will resolve over time.

Hip replacement surgery is a major operation and a full recovery usually takes between six and twelve months. We appreciate that some people may recover more quickly or more slowly, which is why individual recovery and rehabilitation programmes are tailored for each person. Sensible, slow, appropriate exercise and movement will help with a full recovery.

You should not drive after your hip surgery until it is safe for you to do so. Your Circle doctor will be able to give you more advice on when you can expect to start driving again. You should also always confirm with your insurance provider that you are covered before you start driving again following any form of hip surgery.

Complications of surgery for hip arthritis

Any type of surgery carries certain risks and complications. Common complications include:

  • Allergic reaction: You may have an allergy to the anaesthetic used. You to feel sick for a short time.
  • Infection: To reduce this risk we routinely prescribe antibiotics for the first 24 hours after surgery. In addition, as Circle hospitals do not admit infectious or trauma patients, the risk of infection is further reduced.
  • Blood clots: The risk of developing a clot is low, around 1-4%. There are well-established treatments available to resolve them should they occur, including aspirin.
  • Pain: This can usually be effectively managed with painkillers, and you will be prescribed pain medication after your surgery.

Arthroscopic hip surgery and total hip replacement surgery are common procedures, but there are some specific complications of any type of hip surgery to be aware of:

  • Loosening and wear of the artificial hip prosthesis: Just as regular joints suffer ‘wear and tear’, so too do artificial joints. Although this is often a big concern of many patients before surgery, a hip replacement can usually be expected to last for 10 years or so.
  • Stiffness: You should expect the hip to have some stiffness after the operation. This will improve over time with physiotherapy and as your hip recovers from the surgery.
  • Nerve damage: Damage to nerves around the hip can lead to some weakness, numbness or pain in the leg or foot. This usually settles on its own but may be permanent. It is very rare.
  • Lump under the wound: Sometimes, you may develop a lump under the wound after hip surgery. This is caused by a small amount of bleeding under the skin and usually settles after a few weeks. 

These risks and complications are intended for guidance only and are not a complete list. Your doctor will be able to talk you through things clearly when you meet with them before any surgery, and it is important you ask any questions or raise any concerns you have with them before choosing to have surgery.

Help for your hip pain

If you are suffering from arthritis in any joint of your body, you will know just how much it can alter your enjoyment of life and your ability to carry out everyday tasks. The limitations caused by arthritis in the hip, in particular, are noticed when standing, sitting or walking.

While many people will tolerate a certain level of discomfort or stiffness in the hip for a while, long-term and/or severe pain or lack of mobility in the joint should be properly assessed by a doctor. Delaying an assessment only extends the time you are in pain, while a thorough assessment, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment can help to get you out of pain.

If your hip is so stiff that it is hard to move, or so painful that you are being woken up at night regularly, you should see a doctor.

Why Circle?

We believe that you will find no better place to have your hip pain assessed, diagnosed and treated promptly and effectively than at Circle. Every Circle hospital provides state-of-the-art equipment, superb facilities and some of the most experienced hip specialists in the country.

In addition, you will also benefit from:

  • Immediate access: With no waiting lists, you can be seen quickly by your preferred doctor, at a time of your choosing. If you’re struggling with hip pain or stiffness, you don’t want to have to wait for weeks (or months) for an appointment with a specialist. At Circle, you won’t be left waiting for help.
  • Advanced diagnostics: Should you require diagnostic imaging of your hip, from X-ray to MRI scan, we can arrange that promptly for you in-house. With some of the most advanced diagnostic equipment available and a consultant radiologist on-site at every Circle hospital, we can provide fast results from any diagnostic test you may need.
  • Experience to rely on: Our hip specialists are among the most experienced in the country in hip arthroscopy and total hip replacement surgery. When you rely on Circle for help with your hip pain, you will always be in expert hands.
  • Award-winning hospitals: When you visit with us, you will benefit from an unsurpassed level of dedicated care tailored just for you, in award-winning surroundings.

We know that arthritis in the hip can have a significant impact on your life. Whether you are struggling with pain, stiffness, swelling or a reduction in mobility, we believe that it should be easy to get expert help. That is why we have made it very easy to meet with one of our hip specialists. All you need to do is to contact your closest Circle hospital to book an appointment at a convenient time for you. We have no waiting lists, so you won’t need to endure months of waiting to see a doctor while your hip pain gets worse.

Contact us today for help with your hip pain. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get back to pain-free movement and freedom.

An overview of hip arthritis

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Circle Health Group, 1st Floor, 30 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6XH