THR Nearly 1 year making slow progress


new member
Dec 30, 2022
New Zealand New Zealand
Hi I have been reading the posts on this forum so helpful and comforting! I had a total right hip replacement on 26 October and was making great progress but at around 7 1/2 weeks my glutes started to ache and hurt a bit - I cut back on the exercises and have been elevating icing and resting pretty much constantly for the last week or two- got covid 7 days back so the rest was unavoidable! My covid symptoms have almost gone but the glute muscles don’t seem to be recovering very much- I am back to one stick and can’t even contemplate going to the supermarket or a 20 min walk round the park which I could do 2 weeks ago . I can manage a 5 minute slow walk round the garden but that’s it. Is it normal to take this long to recover? Would appreciate any feedback!
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart, Jas95 :welome:
Thanks for joining us. I am sorry you are struggling with some discomfort. It seems likely that you overdid it with the exercises and it's taking you some time to recover...and that happens. I am guessing with fighting Covid your body was taxed and trying to do double duty, heal from Covid and your THR. You're in the early stages of a healing process that can take a full year and even longer for some. You're doing the right thing by resting / icing and taking it easy. I hope until you're feeling better you are abstaining from exercises aside from the activities of daily living and short easy walks, then slowly lengthening your walks as your stamina increases.

I will leave our Recovery Guidelines below as much of the information will still benefit you. I wish you comfort, speedy relief and all that is good in the New Year. Please don't be a stranger here, we'd love to follow your progress.


As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

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 these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The recovery articles
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.
Thanks Layla I really appreciate your reply- and I had thought that covid was delaying my recovery- I have certainly stopped all exercises and am currently managing a 5-6 minute slow walk 2 or 3 times a day- I guess I just need to be patient! I will update again in a day or so with hopefully some news of improvement. And a happy new year to you too
I think it is totally normal to have a set back after any viral infection. I have had a couple of bad colds/ chest infections since my partial knee replacement in late October.( consequence of sharing a house with an 18 month baby who mixes with other kids). Each time it set me back at least a week or so. Covid is probably worse than my situation. Go easy on yourself and good luck!
Thanks for your reply- and good to know that this is to be expected- I need to not ask too much of my body - hope you have recovered ok!
Yes thanks. I think I am finally making real progress- but definitely any other health issue seems to affect the knee recovery. In retrospect I wish I had my operation in the Summer months.
1. Less falls risk from ice/ wet leaves.
2. I love my Cryo- cuff ice jacket and find it is better than painkillers but it is pretty cold here ( Winter- UK London) and I have to be wrapped up everywhere else. The Cryo- cuff would be even nicer in a heatwave!
3. The circulation in my foot on the operation side is poor and I am getting purple pressure spots on a couple of toes. Would be easier to manage barefoot or with sandals in the Summer.
4. Less risk in the Summer of viral infections. Although sharing my home with a baby grandson means bugs all year round!
@Jas95 You are very early days in a process that takes one year or longer. Patience my friend - don't try and push through. The slow and steady approach works every time. Ice is your friend.
Hi @Jas95
Sounds totally normal. I find that even though I have no pain anymore if I get out of rest or more tired than usual I need 2 nights of solid rest to feel completely normal again.

This is the energy drain. Energy goes to the hip first then everything else.

Covid does not help either.

Hope you are feeling better soon!
Oh yes the energy drain- thanks so much it really helps me work on my patience to know that it will eventually get there- slow and steady yes!
Slow is certainly the speed! I am feeling almost over the covid now but the glute muscles don’t seem to be recovering at all- I’ve been icing and elevating for 12 days now very little change- gosh it’s challenging! Struggling with this a bit at the moment.
I’m happy to report some improvements! 99% over covid and so far this morning I managed a 7 min walk with no twinges- small steps and using my stick but that’s more that I’ve managed before- feeling encouraged!
I am needing to be so patient progress is very hard to see! Went to see my doctor today and while she agreed that I needed to take it easy and let the inflamed tissues recover she advised getting back in touch with her if it was no better in 2 weeks and she would organise an x ray and a referral back to the orthopaedic team at the hospital- hard not to spiral down into fears of a loosened implant or something else wrong- fingers crossed 2 weeks is enough! It’s been 3 weeks already of icing and elevating and resting - is this still normal? -
@Jas95 Sorry you are still struggling! You posted on Monday that there was slight improvement. Maybe your doctor is hoping this trend will continue? Has the pain increased since Monday?
No the pain hasn’t increased thank heavens! It just hasn’t progressed noticeably since Monday - I guess I need to continue with being patient! It could be that I am wanting an instant return to the pain free walking of week 6 but I don’t think that’s how it works …
I got a huge case of RSV after 5 weeks. It set me back, all that energy going into 2 recoveries. But I am better. Still some pain, but back to 45 minute trail walks and some light yoga. Best of luck!!!
That’s very encouraging to know thank you!
Hi, @Jas95 , I'm with you. My surgery was Oct 19, and I'm progressing so slowly that I feel afraid sometimes. I'll ask my friends if they see progress anymore, and they look down and say, "Every recovery is unique." 'Unique' is apparently code for "No progress."

I think we'd be crazy not to feel fear when that's our reality. I don't go into the grocery store anymore, just do curbside pickup, because I don't want to run in to people who say, see "Youre still on poles and limping? My mother was off poles at week 5. You need to see your doctor ASAP. Something's gone wrong."

If it weren't for the people at bonesmart, I'd be in a very bad head space. But they are so encouraging. We just have to walk and ice and try to stay hopeful. They say that for many of us it can take a year! And remember, you may have only hit a plateau and will see genuine progress next month! :fingersx:
It’s very supportive to know you are experiencing similar issues- I see you are just 1 week ahead of me- I enjoyed your interpretation of ‘unique’! And you’re right- walking icing resting and patience! I hope you start to see some progress soon too!
You have to love people that make these comments about how far along you should be.
Took me awhile to get off walker cause after a month and first post op X-Ray still had a fracture so had to do partial weight bearing for several weeks, fortunately the fracture was small and began to heal on its own but ortho said might need to do more surgery so believe me I behaved and did the light weight bearing!
I actually had one acquaintance tell me it was because I had posterior approach was reason why I wasn't further along!
I think they might be well meaning but have no clue how it makes someone in recovery feel. This is a mental recovery as well as physical.
If I can offer any advice, it is this. Never underestimate the trauma we suffer as a consequence of the invasive surgery taken place. After my second hip replacement it is very clear however much we rest or excercise there is an adverse reaction. so too much exercise causes pain and to little causes pain and scar tissue build up.

I only now start to appreciate recovery to a level we a fully happy with is a long process of healing and gradual strengthening of traumatised muscles. It is frustrating making slow progress to full recovery but there is not a quick fix. factors including age all will have an impact on recovery time.

Best wishes.

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