About 3 months until I get my hip replaced

Starting threads about hip replacements doesn’t seem to be the tradition that colonoscopy threads are.

About 2 and a half years ago I had an event that basically fucked up the lower left quadrant of my body. My leg ended up twisted and at one point my left foot was almost perpendicular to my right foot. Some PT helped sort of get things back to normal but they never were completely right. I lived with the discomfort for a while and had actually decided to do something about it in early 2020 but those plans went pear shaped thanks to COVID.

I went to my doctor in September and he looked at my leg and said that I only need PT and wouldn’t need surgery. The first time the therapist saw me, he said I’d need surgery. I love these sorts of back and forths… I did physio for about a month and went to see a nephew of mine who is a trainer who specializes in working with middle aged people to help them with quality of life issues. He gave me a few exercises to do and said going to the gym would be helpful. The physio and exercises both helped and caused me some strange issues.

Anyway, I finally had an appointment with a hip and knee specialist last Friday. One of the first things that I was told was that my X-rays indicated worse arthritis than I had initially been told. Bottom line, there are no other option, and I knew it was going to happen at some point, so a replacement it is.

I have about 3 weeks of time back in the gym so far after getting soft for 2+ years. I went back to see my nephew today and got some more exercises to do. He thinks that 90 days should be enough time to get in a good place for both the operation and the recovery. And since I’d like to lose at least 25 pounds, it seems like a good time to start.

Does anybody have any hip replacement stories to share?

My wife had her hip replaced just over a month ago. She had a knee replaced a year ago.
She says she is in less pain than before the surgery. She was on the walker for about 3 weeks, and used a cane for about a week, and just gave it up for moving about the house. She finally went to the grocery store with me last Friday. She had planned to go back to the car when she got tired, but made it all the way around with no problems.
She still can’t bend so I have to get stuff on low shelves for her. I hope you have someone to cook for you, or I guess you can order in, because I got her stuff and cooked for 3 weeks, and she is just now able to drive. I’m retired, so no problem.
Still, she is very glad she did it, ditto for the knee.

I’m looking at a new hip within the next year. My primary exercise is walking, but that is taking a hit; still walking but not as far or as vertically (I live in the mountains) as previously. I’ve started a range of pre-op exercises, as seen on youtube.

So my big question: what are the experiences with climbing steps? Kitchen is down, bathroom is up. Should I just stay up, and try to get someone to bring me sandwiches? Should I stay down and have a portapot delivered to my front porch?

Ex-girlfriend’s 95YO Mom fell, had a hip replaced, and walked out of the hospital a couple of days after surgery, so I’m not too discouraged.

Thanks in advance, and good luck, Ike.


How many months/years does it take from feeling some pain in your hips from arthritis to needing to have your hip replaced?

That was something I was worried about as well. The doctor told me that I would be comfortable on stairs before going home. I do live alone but my cleaning lady will be willing to help. I’m not going to limit myself to one floor.

I started noticing that there were strange things afoot with my hip about 5 years ago.

My good friend got her hip replaced earlier in the year. She built up her supplies and food and, because she lives in an apartment without a washer and dryer, found a laundry service that picks up and returns.

She got through surgery fine and spent minimal time with first a walker then a cane. She also marvels at how much less one of her knees bothers her now.

A friend had a hip replacement two years ago. I stopped to see him a few days post-op, expecting him to be in bed. His wife sent me out to his garage/workshop where I found him up a tall stepladder changing fluorescent bulbs.

I’ll be watching this thread closely. A hip replacement (or two) may be in my near future.

I had a hip replacement about 7 years ago. It was nearly a week stay at the hospital – longer than most – then about a 4-5 week recovery at home before I could drive again. Other than the ride back from the hospital, I had no assistance at home, and relied on a walker and a cane.

I stocked up my larder and freezer in advance, and only needed one delivery of milk and eggs (and a hamburger) before I was able to drive again. Cooking and food prep wasn’t a problem.

I received physical therapy every 2 weeks thereafter by driving to the VA clinic for a few months, plus medical checkups, all at the clinic or hospital, none at home.

The physical therapy people showed me some ways to handle stairs; which foot to use first and how. I only needed to use stairs to do laundry and visit my chest freezer in the basement, so it wasn’t too bad. They also gave me some gadgets that proved useful – a handmade bag for accessories and a tray that attached to the walker; a toilet seat replacement (to make it higher); a bathtub hand support that clamps to the edge of the tub; and a clever grabbing device that helped me put on socks, because I couldn’t bend that far at first.

All of this assistance, including the ride home from the hospital and back again for checkups was provided by the VA, since I have Veterans coverage. I have nothing but praise for what the VA does to us vets, except for one head nurse who was a real insensitive bitch, and should have retired long ago. On one of my returns to the hospital, I brought several boxes of candy and personal thankyou notes for the staff (even the bitch) that helped me. We even shared a few hugs that day.

It wasn’t fun, but I made it.

That sounds useful. Putting on socks and tying shoes has been a bit of a problem since this all started.

Yeah, if you don’t live alone, having someone help with shoes & socks may not be a problem, but if you do, try to be prepared in advance.

Also, if your bathroom isn’t already handicap-enabled, expect to need more handholds, safety mats, and a detachable shower head is useful. If your toilet is low, you might want to replace the seat with something higher and get grab bars around the toilet to help you stand up.

Google has some images:


A flare-up of my Polymyalgia Rheumatica caused severe problems with me getting socks/shoes situated, but I persevered.

My gf observed my difficulty and offered to help. I reminded her that if I ever can’t get dressed or eliminate waste without help, I’m done. I got through it.

That is part of why I am doing this. I’m going to the gym for the surgery and also for the long term. I don’t intend on being one of those hunched over old men who shuffle along instead of walk.

My father uses one and swears by it.

Had a hip replacement a year ago. Did it so I could sleep on that side. Was told recovery time is 7 weeks. Was getting around well by that time- had stopped using a cane. But I wasn’t back to my usual level of intense exercise for 16 weeks.

I had knee replacement in August.

When the option to get it done came up, I remembered mom having both hips replaced. She was probably late 60s for the first one, mid 70s for the second one. She came through it very well so I thought heck, I’ll be fine in no time.

What I didn’t realize: doc told me later that hip surgery is “minor” and knee is “major.” I haven’t had a horrible recovery but they say it takes 6 months to get back to normal. Presumably hip surgery wouldn’t be worse.

My dad was like that, but not because of the hip. You might not think of it but when you walk, you use muscles to pick up the leg AND to set it down. Losing that second part caused his shuffle.

Yep, that’ll motivate you for physical therapy. Go with slip on shoes instead of lace ups…get slides, sandals, etc.

ETA meant to say that hip replacement killed grandma in 1974, but they’ve advanced the surgery soooo much that my mom was totally fine. But losing her mom did make her postpone it as long as possible.

I just remembered…there are apparently two kinds of hip replacement ops, one that enters the thigh from the front, and one from the back. They have different therapy procedures and recovery times. I think the front method is better (IIRC), but which one used is determined by the patient’s weight/size, the doc’s professional experience, and other factors.

Be sure to ask about this in advance if they don’t tell you. In my case, our pre-op recovery “class” was separated into front/back patients, who got different instructions.


I got spare extra-large slippers in advance, since I knew it wouldn’t be easy to put them on. It was a good idea, but now they’re too big!

I started a hip-replacement thread in 2015. The best advice I received was to find a surgeon who would approach the hip with an anterior (front) incision. The guy who gave me the recommendation for surgery only used the posterior approach, but was very understanding when I opted to go with a different surgeon. After surgery, I was back at work in seven weeks. This past spring, I had the other hip replaced by the same surgeon, and with a similar recovery timeframe.

I’ve got a spare tire around my middle and can’t reach my toes, so I use a sock slider to put on socks, and I only wear loafers or shoes with Velcro straps these days. I also bought a grabber tool to reach things on the floor.

Ditto here. Right now it’s being ameliorated somewhat by repeated steroid injections.