Hip Replacement Recovery the OrthoAspen Way

Hip Replacement Recovery the OrthoAspen Way

OrthoAspen in affiliation with HSS, the nation’s top orthopedic hospital, continues to attract patients from all over the Western Slope for its excellence in orthopedic care. Our fellowship-trained surgeons and physicians, who share your love of all the Roaring Fork Valley has to offer, leverage HSS leading-edge research and protocols to maximize your hip replacement recovery so you can live life in motion.

Hip Replacement Recovery in the Roaring Fork Valley

Pitkin County in the Roaring Fork Valley is rated as one of the healthiest counties in the nation. With a landscape that inspires four-season outdoor pursuits, our residents expect to be active to a legendary degree well beyond their retirement years. And when we say active, that includes all variety of snow sports, mountain and road biking, and of course exploring the valley’s myriad trails — from a dash up Smuggler Mountain to a full day’s endurance up to American Lake.

At OrthoAspen, hip replacement surgery and getting you back to doing the things you love to do is a partnership with you and every member of your care team. By following your surgeon’s guidelines, your recovery will go much more smoothly and quickly. When the pain that once held you back is lifted, you’ll find a renewed enjoyment in your everyday life and the confidence to pursue your passions.

OrthoAspen’s first hip replacement recovery tip can be started before you have surgery: preparing your home. One major risk following total hip replacement is experiencing a fall. According to research, 54.8% of falls happen within one month following surgery.

Take a look at a few ways to help prevent falls and make recovery easier:

  • Make sure any loose carpet, electrical cords and other tripping hazards are removed from high-traffic areas.
  • Ensure you have a stable chair or place to rest during initial recovery (which will allow your knees to be positioned lower than your hips).
  • Check any handrails and safety bars to verify they are secure.
  • Place commonly-used items like your electronic devices, books, medicines and so forth close to where you’ll primarily be resting.
  • Rig your shower/bath to accommodate a way for you to be safely seated, and get in and out without potential slips or falls.

Hip Replacement Recovery Timeline

Fast-track Your Fun

One question our OrthoAspen hip surgeons receive frequently is, “How long will it take to recover from hip surgery?” The answer varies from person to person, but most healthy people who rigorously follow post-surgery guidelines experience initial recovery around 12 weeks. In some cases it may take closer to 15 weeks.

To get a better sense of what your healing experience will look like, take a look at hip replacement recovery week by week:

  • A young female mountain biker wearing a blue top and backpack rides across a rock trail in Moab, Utah.24 Hours After Surgery. You will be guided (with help) to sit up, carefully get in and out of your bed, and slowly begin to walk (with the help of crutches, a cane, or walker).
  • 2 Weeks. Your orthopedic surgeon will remove your stitches.
  • 3 to 6 Weeks. You should be able to resume most of your daily activities.
  • 6 to 8 Weeks. You will experience on-going physical therapy to help strengthen your hip muscles and improve range-of-motion.
  • 12 to 16 Weeks. Most people who have responded well to physical therapy and the overall healing process are able to return to sports.

When you are ready to continue your recovery journey at home, OrthoAspen’s fully coordinated care team, which includes Aspen Valley Hospital’s physical and occupational therapists, will make sure you are well prepared. You will be provided with take-home, post-operative care instructions before you’re discharged from the hospital.

Normal Versus … Call Your Surgeon

Keeping Ahead of Complications

It’s important to remember to be patient with yourself during the recovery process. The Rio Grande and Arbaney Kittle Trails, Maroon Creek Wilderness or a weekend in Moab will gladly wait for your safe return.

Another component to maximize your recovery is to remain aware of what is “normal” to experience following hip replacement surgery, versus situations which may indicate infection or other post-surgical problems.

Take a look at what signs and sensations (although perhaps unsettling) are simply part of getting used to your new hip and those that require a call to your surgeon:


  • Numbness around the area of your incision
  • Stiffness in the hip (especially immediately following surgery)
  • Pain after surgery (your doctor may prescribe a pain medication to reduce swelling and inflammation)

Time to Call Your OrthoAspen Surgeon

  • Pain in your calf/leg unrelated to your incision (may indicate a blood clot)
  • Tenderness and redness in the calf (may indicate a blood clot)
  • Swelling in the thigh, calf, ankle or foot (may indicate a blood clot)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Chest pain accompanied by coughing



Stick to Your Recovery Plan

Your Hips Will Thank You

Once you are home, the most impactful way to ensure a speedy and safe recovery is teamwork; be faithful to the exercises prescribed by your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. Studies repeatedly demonstrate how premature discontinuation of post-surgery exercises is one of the top reasons recovery slows or even digresses. Envision your recovery goals to stay motivated. Every exercise counts, every day!

Raising Standards in the Rockies

OrthoAspen’s unique collaboration with HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery) — the nation’s top orthopedic hospital — sets a new standard for exceptional orthopedic care in the Rocky Mountains. With the meticulous implementation of HSS standards and protocols, and ongoing knowledge-transfer from HSS to OrthoAspen, you can get back to pursuing your passions, under the care of highly-skilled doctors at OrthoAspen who have the vast resources HSS working for you.

Start Your Recovery Journey with a Virtual Office Visit

OrthoAspen is pleased to offer telemedicine consultations via computer or smartphone. Take the next step toward elevated quality of life today, schedule your appointment now. Or, call 970-544-1289 for more information about how OrthoAspen’s elite-grade orthopedic physicians can help you find hip pain relief and get back to enjoying an active life.


Visit OrthoAspen in two convenient locations
Aspen Clinic
Aspen Valley Hospital
0401 Castle Creek Rd., Suite 2100,

Aspen, CO 81611
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400
Basalt Clinic
Midvalley Medical Center
1450 E. Valley Rd., Suite 201,

Basalt, CO 81621
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400