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 of what to expect, here is a hip arthroscopy recovery timeline for one person:
How I’m Doing
The right hip. Seriously! I’m pretty sure it’s fine beyond some tendon problems. The adductor tendon is irritated, but it seems to be mad about other things. I’m pretty sure those “other things” are things like poor core stability and hip flexor tightness, but it’s causing pain sometimes when I’m sitting or lying on my side. I don’t care how much my logic is convinced of one thing. My emotions are not okay with this! Pretty sure my surgeon will also think the right hip joint is fine at my follow up this week, and pretty sure I’ll still be concerned about it even though I trust my surgeon. I just happen to know that everyone’s human and no one can give me the iron-clad guarantee that I want! This will just have to be one of those things that when I get it calmed down I can look back and think about how right we all were.
(Update: My surgeon did think the joint is fine, but I am still a little concerned. There shouldn’t be pain with sitting and lying on my side! I give my surgeon big props for listening to me complain about it though. I’m not interested in injections or anything that he could actually help me with, at least for now, but most surgeons are in and out so fast we couldn’t even have the conversation.)
- Off the crutches; my leg still doesn’t feel quite normal when I’m walking. I need to take shorter, slower steps, both to avoid limping and because it feels like my leg will give out otherwise.
- I’m cleared to return to work next week!
- Careful with walking to avoid twisting or rotating while standing on that hip.
- Avoid movements that cause pinching.
What I’m Working On:
- Gradually increasing my walking.
- Hip flexor stretches and more hip flexor stretches.
- Continuing to work on building up stamina for return to work.
- Psoas stretches
- Iliacus stretches
- Rectus femoris stretches
- Hands and knees rocking (being on my hands and knees with my back flat and moving my hips back toward my feet)
- Tall kneeling- some balance with turning my head, some moving the pelvis and shifting weight.
- Bridging on a ball.
- Hip hinge.
- Standing “skaters” (hate the name of this one, because I don’t really think it’s very descriptive of the exercise, but I didn’t pick the name and it’s a good exercise).
- Modified “supermans”; an easier version, but getting those back muscles going.
- Some very small beginning activation of hip rotators.
- Crawling. Yeah, you heard me. On my hands and knees. When this is done very slowly with the opposite arm and leg lifting from the floor and landing at the same time, it’s a great way to activate some core stabilizers.
- Core activation. (Not technically one particular exercise, but rather being sure to engage during walking, pool, and yes, a few exercises where it is a little more of a focus.)
- Bike (upright stationary)
- Pool- Aiming for 2 times per week, walking forward, backward sideways, some standing hip movements and core activation, a little stretching. No hot tub due to COVID, so that’s about all I can take before I have to go warm up!
- Calf stretches, toe extension stretches, foot strengthening (I know, foot and calf don’t SEEM like they would make a big difference to the hip, but they do. They really do.)
- Continuing wall push ups and doorframe pulls for my arms.
- The pain on my right hip is not terrible, and though it is flared up compared to where it’s been for a while, this pain is what I’ve had off and on since surgery. However, part of our perception of pain is how we assign meaning to it. After surgery, this pain didn’t bother me nearly as much (though it turns out to be quite a bit more than I had after the left surgery). The meaning right after surgery is that I had surgery and now the hip is healing. Now I wonder if the meaning of the pain is that something is not healing the way it should have. Thus, overthinking all the live long day. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll take a break from overthinking and try some hip flexor release instead!