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Recovering From Hip Arthroscopy: What to Expect

Recovering From Hip Arthroscopy: What to Expect

You’ve been hobbled by a bad hip for far too long, so you’re considering (or already scheduled) a hip arthroscopy. Now you want to know what to expect after the procedure.

The first thing we want to underscore is that you’re in good hands with Dr. Brian White, who's the resident hip specialist among the team here at Western Orthopaedics. On average, Dr. White performs about 11 hip arthroscopies per week, and he surpassed 3,000 total arthroscopies in 2019.

When it comes to what you can expect during your recovery, there are no exact timelines, but we want to provide you with a general outline.

Immediately after your procedure

Dr. White performs his hip arthroscopies at Porter Adventist Hospital, and you should expect to spend at least one night in the hospital.

We use general anesthesia, so you’ll be groggy when you wake after your procedure. In most cases, we place a catheter to help with urination and we remove the tubing the morning after your arthroscopy.

In addition to the catheter, we also place you in special boots that keep your feet straight and we use ice and compression devices to keep swelling down and prevent clots, respectively.

After discharge

If everything looks good the next day, we send you home on crutches. You will also have a bending machine, which we want you to use for two to four hours each day for at least two weeks. Rest assured, we show you how the machine works so that you’re comfortable using it on your own.

Within three to five days of your discharge, we want you in physical therapy, which you will continue for six to eight months. This part of your recovery is critical, and your commitment to the process of strengthening your hip can make a big difference in your recovery from hip arthroscopy.

Returning to normal

When it comes to getting back to your life, it depends on what you do. If you have a sedentary job or you’re going to school, you should be able to get back to work or learning in 1-3 weeks, depending upon how well you’re feeling.

If you’re looking to get back to a labor position, it will take much longer — up to six months. Any activity that puts stress on your hip is one that you need to approach slowly and only when Dr. White gives you the greenlight. This includes sports,as well as your occupation.

As for driving, it depends on which side you had the arthroscopy. A good rule of thumb is about six weeks for surgery on the right side, but you might be able to drive in as little as three weeks if the procedure was on the left. Of course, you shouldn’t drive for as a long as you’re taking pain medications and walking with crutches.

Again, each patient’s timeline is their own, but our goal is to have you back to normal in about six months, which means moving without pain and enjoying all of the activities that you put on hold because of a painful hip.

Naturally, Dr. White and the team are with you every step of the way. If you have more questions about recovering from hip arthroscopy, please contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to schedule an appointment.

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