Following Your Discharge

Total Hip Replacement

Weeks One and Two:

  • Anticipate discharge from Douglas County Hospital after two days to your home (or if needed another facility)
  • Staples will be removed 10-14 days following surgery
  • Continue walking with a walker or crutches unless otherwise instructed
  • Work toward walking 500 feet per day with the use of a walker or crutches
  • Straighten your hip completely (lie flat in bed with the operated leg out straight)
  • Independently sponge bathe, or shower and dress with use of adaptive equipment
  • Gradually resume homemaking activities
  • Do your home exercise program twice a day (from the program given to you)

Weeks Two to Four

You will see you’re recovering to more independence. Even if you are receiving outpatient therapy, you will need to be very faithful to your home exercise program to be able to achieve the best outcome.

  • Wean from full support to a cane or one crutch as able (your therapist or surgeon will guide you in the use of a cane unless your weight-bearing is restricted)
  • Walk approximately ¼ mile per day as tolerated
  • Climb and descend a flight of stairs more than once daily as tolerated
  • Bend your hip to 90 degrees unless otherwise instructed
  • Independently shower and dress with the use of adaptive equipment
  • Resume homemaking tasks
  • Do home exercises twice a day with or without the therapist
  • Begin driving if you had left hip surgery (you will need permission from your physician)
  • You will be scheduled to follow up with your surgeon approximately 4 weeks following your surgery

Weeks Four to Six

  • Continue walking with a cane as instructed by your physical therapist
  • Progress walking to ½ mile per day as tolerated
  • Advance walking up stairs to a step-over-step pattern
  • Resume driving at six weeks if right hip replacement was performed
  • Resume sexual activity at six weeks while maintaining hip precautions
  • Continue with home exercise program twice a day. You should be ready for advancement of your exercise program by a physical therapist at this time. Refer to the exercise progression found in your guidebook.

Weeks Six to Twelve

  • You will be scheduled to follow up with your surgeon approximately 10-12 weeks following your surgery
  • During weeks six to twelve you should be able to resume all of your activities
  • Progress to walking without a cane or a walker if you haven’t to date
  • Climb and descend stairs in a normal fashion
  • Progress walking from ½ mile toward 1 mile per day as tolerated
  • Resume activities such as dancing, bowling, swimming, and golf

Total Knee Replacement (including Bilateral and Uni-Knee Procedures)

Weeks One to Two

  • Anticipate discharge from Douglas County Hospital after two to three days to your home (or if needed another facility)
  • Staples will be removed 10-14 days following surgery
  • Continue walking with a walker or crutches unless otherwise instructed
  • Work toward walking 500 feet per day with use of a walker or crutches
  • Actively bend your knee to at least 90 degrees
  • Straighten your knee completely
  • Independently sponge bathe, or shower and dress
  • Gradually resume homemaking activities
  • Do your home exercise program twice a day (from the program given to you)

Weeks Two to Four

You will see you’re recovering to more independence. Even if you are receiving outpatient therapy, you will need to be very faithful to your home exercise program to be able to achieve the best outcome.

  • Wean from full support to a cane or one crutch as able (your therapist or surgeon will guide you in the use of a cane unless your weight-bearing is restricted)
  • Walk approximately ¼ mile per day as tolerated
  • Climb and descend a flight of stairs more than once daily as tolerated
  • Bend your knee more than 90 degrees
  • Straighten your knee completely
  • Independently shower and dress
  • Resume homemaking tasks
  • Do home exercises twice a day with or without the therapist. You should be ready for advancement of your exercise program by a physical therapist at this time. Refer to the exercise progression found in your guidebook.
  • Begin driving if you had left knee surgery (you will need permission from your physician)
  • You will be scheduled to follow up with your surgeon approximately 4 weeks following your surgery

Weeks Four to Six

You will see much more recovery to full independence. Your home exercise program will be even more important as you receive less supervised therapy.

  • Continue walking with a cane as instructed by your physical therapist
  • Progress walking to ½ mile per day as tolerated
  • Advance walking up stairs to a step-over-step pattern
  • Actively bend knee to 110 degrees
  • Straighten your knee completely
  • Resume driving if right knee replacement was performed (you will need permission from your physician)
  • Continue with home exercise program twice a day. You should be ready for advancement of your exercise program by a physical therapist at this time. Refer to the exercise progression found in your guidebook.

Weeks Six to Twelve

  • You will be scheduled to follow up with your surgeon approximately 10-12 weeks following surgery
  • During weeks six to twelve you should be able to resume all of your activities
  • Progress to walking without a cane or a walker (and without a limp) if you haven’t to date
  • Climb and descend stairs in a normal fashion
  • Progress walking from ½ mile toward 1 mile per day as tolerated
  • Bend knee to 120 degrees
  • Straighten knee completely
  • Resume activities such as dancing, bowling, swimming, and golf