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Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic
(310) 665-7200

What to Expect Before & After Hip Replacement Surgery

When you have decided to proceed with hip replacement surgery, it is important to know what to expect throughout the process so that you can prepare appropriately.

Dr. Tiberi and his team work with patients every step of the way to help them prepare for hip replacement surgery. This guide answers many of the questions our patients typically ask about hip replacement surgery.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about your hip replacement surgery, do not hesitate to give our office a call. You can reach our office at (310) 665-7200.

Preparing for Surgery

Dr. Tiberi provides a smartphone and tablet application called Peerwell to help his patients mentally and physically prepare for hip replacement surgery. This tool allows Dr. Tiberi to customize the information to each patient, ensuring that they get exactly what they need to prepare for surgery.

Dr. Tiberi believes that well-prepared patients have better outcomes with hip replacement surgery, and providing the information via the Peerwell app makes the preparation process easier on patients.

The application has daily modules for you to complete that will help you prepare for your surgery. The modules cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Diet - The right diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, boost your immune system, and help your body recover from hip replacement surgery.
  • Exercise - Exercise offers several benefits. Specially targeted exercises help you strengthen the muscles around your hip, improve your balance, and gain flexibility.
  • Pain Management - Although you will be given medications to help with pain during recovery, drug-free pain management techniques can supplement your medications and make it easier for you to exercise.
  • Anxiety Reduction - Many patients feel nervous before hip replacement surgery--this is completely normal. Anxiety-reducing techniques will help to keep you calm when it is time for your procedure.
  • Pre-Surgery Preparations - You will need to prepare your home and make other important arrangements prior to your hip replacement. The app can help you keep track of what needs to be done.

If you have any questions during the preparation process, Dr. Tiberi and his team are happy to help.

Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery

Preparing for the recovery process is important to achieve positive outcomes with hip replacement surgery. It is important to follow all postoperative instructions given to you by Dr. Tiberi. The PreHab application is also helpful during the recovery process.

Hip replacement surgery typically requires a short hospital stay. Patients begin physical therapy as soon as possible after surgery to begin moving the new hip. During this, participation in physical therapy is critical for patients who have had total hip replacement surgery. Physical therapy helps by strengthening the muscles surrounding the new hip and improving the range of motion in the hip.

When you are discharged from the hospital, you will likely need help getting around for the first several days or weeks. If you live alone, you may want to arrange for someone to stay with you until you are able to get around on your own.

Full recovery from hip replacement depends on the individual patient, but can take several weeks or months.

Exercise and Returning to Activity After Hip Replacement Surgery

After hip replacement surgery, patients often have questions about when they can return to their normal activities, and whether there are any activity restrictions with their new hip. This can vary from patient to patient. Dr. Tiberi and his team will provide guidance on restrictions and resuming activities. It is important not to take on too much too soon.

Driving and Returning to Work

Your return to work will largely depend on the type of job you have. If you work at a desk, you will likely be able to return sooner than if your job requires you to stand or perform other more physical tasks. For jobs that require less activity, you may be cleared to return to work when you are able to get around easily on your own and no longer need narcotic pain medications. Patients are typically cleared to drive themselves when they are able to stop taking narcotic pain medications and when their reflexes and strength are back to normal.


Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight and maintaining function in the new hip. However, some activities are restricted to preserve the life of the implant and reduce complications. High-impact activities like running and jogging are generally not recommended because they can put too much stress on the new hip. Walking, swimming, golfing, and bicycling are preferred because they are low-impact. These activities do not take the place of physical therapy, but they can provide benefit when done alongside physical therapy. An active lifestyle will also help you maintain your activity level when you have completed physical therapy.

Additional Precautions

It is important to take special care to avoid injuries after a hip replacement. A fall onto your new hip could require additional surgery if a fracture occurs. Even if there is no problem with the hip replacement, Dr. Tiberi’s office will schedule routine follow-up exams and x-rays to make sure that the hip is maintaining proper placement and alignment.