THR 5 weeks after surgery!


new member
Jun 5, 2023
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I think I'm doing really well and recovery has been pretty easy (although always scary to me! I had to do some hypnotherapy before surgery just to get me calm enough to do it. Can't recommend this enough!). I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if ankle swelling at this point is still to be expected? I would have thought that all swelling would be gone by now...
@diane71 Welcome to BoneSmart! First can you please confirm you had THR? What was the date and which hip please.

At only 5 weeks into a process that can take 12 months or longer, swelling is totally normal. Are you icing and elevating?

I'll leave you a bit of information that might answer some of your questions about this recovery:

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
We are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for YOU.“ Your doctor(s), physiotherapist(s) and BoneSmart are here to help. But you have the final decision as to what approach you use.

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of this BoneSmart philosophy for sensible post op therapy
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for THRs
6. Access these pages on the website

Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
Yes, THR, surgery on 28 April this year. I've not iced but have been elevating! It seems to get better each morning and then a little worse as the day goes on - I'm guessing that's because it's elevated at night? Thanks for the reply!
Thanks for supplying your surgery date. Which hip was it?

Ice for 45-60 minutes several times per day. Be sure and put a cloth between your skin and the ice source. Soft tissues were traumatised during the procedure. And yes, swelling at the end of day is the norm.
It was the left hip and I will try the ice! Thanks. I think recovery is going well. It took a few weeks to be able to sleep in bed at night (I rented a riser/recliner, which was so helpful!), but I'm sleeping through the night now and able to go out for 20 minute walks everyday. No real pain, just a bit of ache or tenderness toward the end of the day. On the whole I'm grateful that it's going so well!

On 4/13/23, I had a left THR with an anterior approach. 7 weeks later, I still have a slight amount of residual swelling on top of the left ankle and foot even though there is no evident swelling elsewhere. It does not cause soreness or any perceptible limitation - it’s just there. I think that is in the range of what can be expected and that it will likely go away as recovery progresses.
Thanks Tanvat - it's good to hear from others and it just helps to know that it is nothing unusual. I hope you're making a good recovery?
I'm 6 weeks post surgery now and wonder if I can get some advice? There are a lot of posts on here about not 'overdoing it', which seem like good advice. But how can you tell the difference between overdoing it and putting the right kind of stress on your body to help heal? I've been walking every day and notice that I can do 2000 steps pretty easily and feel okay the next day. If I do 3000 steps I really feel it at night and early the next morning - very stiff and achy. But is this the right kind of stress to help heal? 3000 steps doesn't seem like much, I realise, but it's about the most i can cope with now. Any advice gratefully received. All else going really well I think!
I am in the same position albeit I can walk a bit further now at 6 months. 5000 steps is a breeze. 8000 steps exhausts me. So I aim for a happy medium. I was averaging 2-3000 steps for the first four months. I guess some of it is down to how fit you were before the operation, in my case not very. Slow and steady is better than joining the ODIC.
I think you just need to listen to your body. You are saying that extra 1,000 steps makes you a little uncomfortable. So for now maybe do 2500 steps and see how that goes, then increase from there. You don't need to beat your muscles up to heal them, quite the opposite.
After one year some days I can do more than other days.
I went back to work in April and thought I was a superstar, well by end of April beginning of May I was flat on my back again!
It took me several weeks to get back to feeling normal again. And I was in very good physical condition when I fell and fractured my hip walking about 3 miles a day and working as a server in a very busy restaurant.
all my best.
Thanks to both for reply! Yes, I know it's a very individual thing. I think it must just be hard to know when a little soreness is good and when it's not. I'll try the middle ground for now and see how things go!
Happy Three Month Anniversary, Diane!
How is your recovery going these days?
We'd love to read about your progress if you're able to leave an update. Hope to hear from you soon!
HIya! Well, it is exactly 4 months today since my surgery! All is going well but I got vertigo (ugh!) about 6 weeks ago. I get it every couple of years and it lasts sometimes up to 6 months. My walking is going well but I have fallen twice from extreme dizziness. I have to say I've been extraordinarily lucky with the falls and neither seemed to jar my hip in any way (my knees are scabby and after the last one I looked like I'd gone about 5 rounds with Mike Tyson!) So I am very, very cautious when I go outside to walk now. I have also rejoined the gym, where I can walk on a treadmill with complete safety. I aim for between 4 - 5,000 steps a day and for the most part all is pain free now! Still a bit of swelling in my ankle which surprises me, but on the whole I have to say this has been a good recovery. What I like most is that I can stay on my feet for more than an hour now. I haven't been able to do that in many years! So here's to us all - and our recoveries! Wishing all the very best to everyone!
@diane71 You have my sympathies regarding vertigo. I too suffer from it at times and it is a bear! Please do be very careful. Falls can be so dangerous! Are you receiving any treatment for this?

Good news on your THR recovery! Sounds like you are doing really well. Long may it continue!
There seems to be no real treatment for my vertigo, but yes, I am being VERY careful now and as the colder weather comes on I will probably do all my walking on the treadmill now which is very safe! But yes, other than the falls the recovery has been great. I hope all those in the first few weeks will take heart - it does get so much better!!
Hello diane71.

I am delighted to hear about your relatively smooth THR recovery.
You write that you have had vertigo off and on every couple of years, so I would suspect that it is unrelated to the THR.

I found it interesting that you had hypnotherapy prior to the surgery. I could have used hypnotheraby as I was so nervous that I did not sleep for four days prior to my THR.

Please continue your smooth recovery. Best wishes!
Yes, I absolutely swear by the hypnotherapy and I completely understand why you would have been sleepless. I have been very lucky in my life and have reached the age of 70 never having had any kind of surgery or on any kind of medication. That means I had no experience, really, of doctors or hospitals or surgery! So very scary. I hope all went well for you and that your recovery has been ideal!
Thanks for responding. When I need to have my RTHR re-done in ten years I will consider the hypnotherapy. Thanks for the suggestion. Similar to you, I have been fortunate to have excellent health with no experiences with surgery or hospital. It is behind me now, but I wish that I had considered hypnotherapy.
:hi: @diane71

The hypnotherapy sounds like a great option to folks who find the prospect of sugery extremely overwhelming especially if it affects your health.
As we hear often, stress is terrible for our immune systems.
When I need to have my RTHR re-done in ten years I will consider the hypnotherapy.
I hope you don't think a revision is a given, my friend.

A key determinant of the lifespan on the hip replacement is the activity demands placed on it. So, an active runner is going to have a higher risk of wear than a more sedentary individual.

Thoughts and predictions based on current clinical and lab data: I feel that the hip replacements currently being implanted COULD potentially last 30 years or more, even in moderately active individuals (i.e., someone who plays golf, doubles tennis, and lives a moderately active lifestyle).
Reading your 10 year hipversary post assures me you have been mindful about your activities and have done tremendously well.
Obviously this depends on correct implantation by the surgeon and results can vary patient to patient.
But if one looks at several recent studies, there is a very optimistic picture for younger patients who may need hip replacement.
To Mojo333, thank you so much for your perspective and your fulsome post. My RTHR in 2012 was the world's best RTHR. I give thanks to God, my surgeon, and my PA every day! One of my surgeon's last communications to me was that I would probably need to replace the current right hip implant in 20 years. Because he is a surgeon I took his words as what I should heed.

But, what you are saying, above, Mojo333 is also true. And yes, I am moderately active and I am mindful of my activity. I especially avoid pounding athletic activity.

Mojo333 you have really provided a new outlook -- that replacing my prosthetic joint *may not* be needed and that I should take it one year/month at a time. That another RTHR circa 2032 is NOT a given. It may never be needed. In my mind, I have quietly created space for another replacement surgery to occur. But this may or may not happen. Based on new techniques and the quality of the prosthetic, this may never be necessary. I will simply continue to monitor how I feel. Oh, thank you Mojo for providing good mojo! Your friend, Zorro.

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