Hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery

Following a total hip replacement surgery (THR), there are often precautions that patients must follow to prevent dislocation of the hip. With the most commonly used approach, the posterior approach, patients are required to avoid flexion > 90 degrees, adduction, and internal rotation (Saskatchewan Health Authority, 2018; Twogood, 2021). While these terms are familiar to those within the medical community, these instructions are difficult for patients to comprehend. As such, layman’s terms must be used. 

For example, to explain the precaution of avoiding hip flexion > 90 degrees, patients can be told to avoid low bending activities such sitting/squatting on low chairs or beds, sitting on soft furniture, bringing their knees to their chest, reaching forward towards their toes while sitting, and bending to put on socks or shoes (Saskatchewan Health Authority, 2018). 

For explaining the precaution of avoiding adduction, patients can be told to avoid crossing their legs at the knees or ankles (Saskatchewan Health Authority, 2018). They can also be told to use a pillow between the legs when lying on their side and avoid having the operated leg fall over the unaffected leg. 

Lastly, to explain the precaution of avoiding internal rotation, patients can be told to avoid twisting on the operated leg (Twogood, 2021). Patients can be told to avoid turning, pivoting, and twisting in both sitting and standing, and to keep their nose and toes facing the same direction (Saskatchewan Health Authority, 2018).

How long is a hip surgery and Hip replacement recovery time?

The average short-term recovery time for a total hip replacement is 10 to 12 weeks. Long-term hip replacement recovery involves the complete healing of surgical wounds and internal soft tissues. When a patient can return to work and the activities of daily living, they are on the way to achieving the full term of recovery. Here are some hip replacement surgery pictures:


Saskatchewan Health Authority (2018). Patient and Coach Information Total Hip Replacement 

Twogood, T. (2021, October). The Hip: Clinical Skills Lab [Lab notes, PowerPoint slides]. Quercus. 

Image 1- https://www.saintlukeskc.org/condition/total-hip-replacement

Image 2- https://hughston.com/wellness/surgical-approaches-to-knee-and-hip-replacement/

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