Hip Replacements

Elderly lady with hip replacement

Hip replacements – good as new?

There are three reasons why you might be on this page:

  • You have had a hip replacement, and would like to know more about rehab
  • You will be having a hip replacement, and want to know what to expect
  • You are simply curious about hip replacements!

This article will provide you with some basic information on hip replacement surgeries, but will focus more on what happens after you are discharged from hospital, and what you can expect during physiotherapy treatment.

If you have hip arthritis and are interested in how we can help before surgery, check out our article on osteoarthritis!

What happens in a hip replacement surgery?

Any joint replacement surgery is called an arthroplasty. In an arthroplasty, the end of the bone forming part of the painful joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis, which forms the new joint surface. You can have either a total arthroplasty, where the ends of both bones forming the joint are replaced, or a partial arthroplasty, where the surface of only one bone forming the joint is replaced. In the hip, a partial hip replacement involves replacing only the top of the thigh bone and not the socket.

Prostheses can be made out of metal, plastic or ceramic. Prior to the surgery, your surgeon will discuss which procedure and which type of prosthesis will work best for you.

What happens after surgery?

After surgery, physiotherapy is recommended to get you back on your feet. The hip joint is essential for many daily tasks such as walking and climbing stairs, so it is important that physical rehabilitation starts as soon as possible. Many patients will receive some physiotherapy before being discharged from hospital to help them get going at home, but further outpatient physiotherapy is usually recommended to ensure patients fully recover their strength and function.

When you see us, we will assess your hip to determine your walking ability, strength, range, and overall function. From there, we tailor an exercise treatment program that takes into account your goals so we can get you back to doing the things you love. Evidence is positive that a proper rehabilitation program will improve the strength, range, and your overall perception of your hip function (Trudelle-Jackson, Emerson, & Smith, 2002).

Rapid recovery generally occurs in the first 12 to 15 weeks, however you can expect to see continued improvements for the first year (Kennedy et al., 2011).

If you have OA and are considering a joint replacement, or have already had a joint replacement, give us a call on 1300 738 609 or book online to see one of our friendly physiotherapists. Let us help you find your Solution.


Total Hip Replacement: How Long Does It Take to Recover? (2011). Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 41(4), 240–240. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2011.0502

Trudelle-Jackson, E., Emerson, R., & Smith, S. (2002). Outcomes of Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Study of Patients One Year Postsurgery. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 32(6), 260–267. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2002.32.6.260

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