1st Post-operative Visit Instructions – Anterior Approach-Total Hip Replacement


It takes about 2 months for your hip prosthesis to heal in place. During these first 2 months:

  • Be extra careful not to fall.
  • Avoid strengthening exercises, stretching, or heavy lifting (above 25 pounds or so). Avoid any high impact or jar¬ring activities (jumping, jogging, sports, etc).
  • Outpatient Physical Therapy is not routinely prescribed unless you have a specific issue that requires it. We can discuss the need for therapy at your next visit.

Gentle motion of the hip can be helpful for your recovery. There are 3 activities that we encourage:

  • Walking—You can walk as much as your pain will allow. Avoid overdoing it; try not to walk to the point of fatigue or soreness. Watch for uneven surfaces. It’s a good idea to begin with level ground before progressing to hills.
  • Stationary bike (recumbent is fine) – Begin with zero or low resistance. Start with a few minutes at a time, and progress slowly.
  • Pool activities — Wait 2 weeks before using the pool. Practice gentle walking, side-stepping, or marching in place. Avoid kicking or lap-swimming for the first 2 months

You may transition from your walker or crutches at your own pace. Try to increase your weight bearing by practicing a normal gait every day. As a rule of thumb, continue to use a cane or crutch until you can walk without a limp.

Wound Care

You may shower 24 hours after your sutures have been removed. Please leave steri-strips in place until they begin to fall off. Call the office if you notice ongoing drainage or increasing redness near the incision. Keep the incision dry until there is no drainage.

Pain control

You may continue to ice and elevate as long as it is helpful. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, and Tylenol, are recommended. Narcotics may be necessary for uncontrollable pain, but try to wean from them as soon as possible.

Preventing blood clots

Continue to take Aspirin for the first month after surgery to decrease the risk of blood clots (unless otherwise instructed). Avoid long periods of immobility (for example, long trips in a car or plane).

You may stop using TED compression stockings, unless otherwise instructed.


Avoid driving while on narcotic medication. Otherwise you may drive when it is not painful to do so, and your strength, stamina, and reflexes have improved


Antibiotics are recommended prior to certain dental procedures for the first 2 years after joint replacement. Call the of¬fice for a prescription. If possible, avoid elective dental procedures for the first 3 months after surgery.

Follow Up Appointment
Please follow up with Dr. Downer 8 weeks after surgery unless otherwise instructed.