Bilateral THR Recovering after bi-lateral THR.


new member
Dec 26, 2021
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hi everyone. I had a bilateral THR on 15th March this year and seem to be doing OK. I am now 3 and a half weeks into my recovery. There are some issues which I'm sure a lot of you will be familiar with ie. poor, very interrupted sleep, overactive bladder at night, exhausted during the day due to the previous 2 issues! I'm happy enough with the way I'm moving about the house at the minute and went shopping at the local store with my partner yesterday, without my crutches!
I spoke to my GP this week who gave me a "sick line" for 4 weeks. He quickly followed this up with you should be recovered enough to go back to work then! This would mean that I would be returning to work after around 7 weeks after my op.
My job is active and involves carrying a reasonable level of equipment and being on my feet. I'm now concerned that I simply won't be recovered enough to return to work so soon. I was expecting to be off work for about 12 weeks or so given everything I've read and I realise that everyone recovers at a different rate but I just don't think that 7 weeks is a sufficient period of recovery for me. Any thoughts?
I would have thought you'd be at least 12 weeks before you could return to work if doing a manual job, and even then a phased return to work. I was back at work after 4 weeks but I do a desk job and found that a struggle at times. Listen to your body and if you don't feel fit enough chances are you won't be fit enough. Good luck with your continued recovery.
@Bulbs Welcome to BoneSmart! :welome:I certainly understand your concerns about returning to a physically demanding job at only 7 weeks after having both hips replaced! Could you contact your surgeon to ask about a longer time off? And/or talk to your work place - either boss or your Human Resources department - about a phased return to work? It is usually recommended that after hip replacement you not return to work (especially jobs that require a lot of physical exertion) for at least 12 weeks. It does not sound to me like your GP is fully up to date on the recuperation process of having bilateral hip replacements - and may not be as fully aware of your particular job requirements.

I was already retired when I had my BTHR but I do know that at 7 weeks out I would not have been able to return to the work I had been doing - and that was only phone and computer work. By 12 weeks I was pretty much healed up though I did need more PT to get muscles around my hips back to optimum functionality. And, for me. fatigue and what I called "nap attacks" continued for several more months beyond the 12 weeks. The body has a LOT of healing to do following 2 major surgeries!

It sounds like you are doing well with your new hips! Do take it slow though - around here there's a thing called the ODIC - Over Did It Club - when one thinks they are more healed than they actually are and doing too much too soon causes some extra swelling or pain.
Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart. Thanks for joining us!
You received some sound advice from the two members above through their personal experience. I will join the chorus in advising you attempt to get more time off with a Phased Return To Work -

The rest of your concerns sound pretty normal to me and will ease with more time. I’ll leave our Recovery Guidelines as many of the articles will still apply. You’re doing great, keep up the good work and enjoy!

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.

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
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. Here is a week-by-week guide

6. Access to 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 the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
Hi Bulbs.

I am 9 weeks post op with lthr. I am going back to work after 10 weeks (office work for first 2 weeks) then back to heavy work after 12 weeks.
Most people I know who have had op seem to think 12 wks before going back to heavy labour and then if you feel up to it. (I had posterior lthr).
I am 49 and have always been very fit and work out every day. 12 weeks seems right for me to go back to heavy labour, though that is just my personal opinion for myself. Everybody is different though in their recovery. I have known other people go back to work at 2 to 4 weeks if they work in an office and feel up to it. I am looking forward to going back to work and I am confident. I Must admit though financially I have to go back to work now, whether I like it or not.
We still got to pay the bills lol.
Must admit though 7 weeks back to heavy labour seems early to me. Before op I researched alot, and 12 weeks seemed around the average time. My G P and surgeon told me I would be silly to go back to heavy labour before 10 to 12 weeks. I wish you all the best, if you got considerate boss, see if he or she can put you on lighter duties at first. Like I say I wish you all the best with this and your recovery.
The recommended time off work post THR is 10-12 weeks and then a Phased return to work. That's for one replacement. You have had 2 major surgeries in one go. I would certainly go back to your surgeon and get more time off work. Your GP is just not being realistic!
I'm also a Fellow Bilateral:chuckmarch:

My job is active and involves carrying a reasonable level of equipment and being on my feet.
Not sure what reasonable equipment is but 7 weeks will be too early for lots of on-your-feet and carrying loads too!
I went back early but had to seriously edit myself and actually think if I could have had another month completely off... I would have felt much better quicker.
All Temporary but you dont want to mess up a good thing!
I have been signed off for 12 weeks and that amount off time was on the surgeon's advice. I work in an admin NHS job which is desk bound but incorporates some running around and lifting, and the surgeon said that if I felt ok prior to 12 weeks, to get a fit note from my GP and to go back on a phased return. I think 7 weeks is very early and it would be a shame to undo all the surgery that has been done. Could you go back part-time in an easier role perhaps? Best wishes.
I was fortunate and never went back to work but I can tell you new hips don't like heavy labor. I worked physically all of my life and it continues in my chores and hobbies. With my first THR I felt I recovered well and was able to do most anything within reason. At 12 weeks I decided I needed to do some work on a ladder. Doing the work was no problem but I suffered an incredible setback and had to do a lot of sitting and icing for weeks to get back to where I was. No permanent damage just strained muscles. 7 weeks might be fine for a sitting job if you can take frequent breaks to get up and walk and stretch.
I am going to chime in as someone who didn't even have a hip replacement but a hip pinning after a ski accident. I am at 8 weeks post op now and I am still using a cane although at 6 weeks I felt so good I ditched the cane and started doing more demanding PT. A week later my body was seriously complaining with pain to the point I had to see my surgeon. Everything was fine but definitely taking it slow is the way to go. And you;ve had both hips replaced! That is such major surgery. Your body will recover faster if you take it slower as someone here advised me. Good luck!
I would like to say thanks to everyone that replied to me after my post. I really didn't expect so many people to offer such good advice. Fantastic Forum. I'm being reviewed by my surgeon at the end of April, which will be 6 weeks after the op. I'll have a chat with him and hopefully get some guidance for my GP. Once again guys, thanks for taking the time! Good luck to one and all!
Thanks for taking the time to express your appreciation to all and extend best wishes. You’re very thoughtful! I hope you’re doing well on this special day and enjoying steady progress. Happy One Month Anniversary!

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