Hip Arthroscopy Recovery Diary: The First Week

So you want to know how long it will take you to recover from hip arthroscopy, huh? Quite a while, that’s all I can tell you. Each person, each hip, each surgery is different. You need to talk to your surgeon and your physical therapist to know what you are allowed to do and when, because it will depend on what surgery you had, what your surgeon’s protocol is, and how your recovery is going.

However, if all you want is an example to give you an idea, here is a hip arthroscopy recovery timeline for one person:

How I’m Feeling

Well, I don’t like surgery. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t like crutches. I don’t like feeling cruddy. I will say that I’m very lucky with the pain. I’m taking Tylenol like it’s going out of style (but according to directions!), but I’m not needing serious pain meds, so I’m grateful for that.

Precautions

  • 30% weight bearing on my left hip until 4 weeks, with my foot flat on the ground.
  • Avoid any movements that cause pinching.
  • Avoid lifting my left leg. (For example, I use a strap to help me lift it into bed.)
  • Don’t let my leg move out to the side more than 45 degrees.
  • No letting my foot rotate out to the side, hence the super fun boots at night. When I’m awake and can make sure it’s okay, I just block it with a pillow on the outside of my foot.
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The dreaded boots and the intermittent compression devices for preventing blood clots. Sleeping is FUN right after surgery!

What I’m Working On:

  • Taking all the meds that have been prescribed (anti-inflammatories, and the ones to help my gut with the anti-inflammatories and the ones to get things moving after the anesthesia).
  • Lying on my stomach for a total of at least 2 hours per day.
  • Ice 5-6 times per day. (I’d like to do more, but I’m usually doing well to get that much done.)
  • All the ankle pumps.
  • Isometrics (so, tightening the muscles and holding them for about 5 seconds) for my glutes (butt), quads (thighs), abs and pelvic floor.
  • In a few days, I get to add hands and knees rocking (being on my hands and knees with my back flat and moving my hips back toward my feet) and cat/cow.
  • Having my sister move my hip twice a day.
  • CPM (continuous passive movement) machine 3-5 hours a day. I usually do this at night. After I’ve been in the above set up for several hours, it feels great to have my hip moving and lets me get a little more sleep.

Notes

  • Nothing like some early accidental movements to make things more sore and question whether I’ve ruined everything already. Probably not, but right after surgery when you’re trying SO hard to maintain all the precautions? It feels like it.

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