Doris takes a morning walk with Ozzie, her puppy, eight weeks following her total hip replacement recovery. "I sometimes forget I even had surgery," she says.

An avid aerobics enthusiast, Doris has always exercised and believes she eventually just “wore out her hips.” When conservative treatments stopped helping and it was time to seriously consider surgery to find pain relief, she wondered what her total hip replacement recovery journey would be like.

Through this blog post, Doris shares what the total hip replacement recovery process was like for her so that others facing surgery have a better idea of what to expect. Read on to learn more about her history with hip pain, what she did to choose the best hip surgeon, and how she’s doing today.

Total Hip Replacement Surgery

In the summer of 2019, the time had come to consider surgery options based on the pain she was experiencing. “It started to affect my daily routine,” Doris, who turned 80 this year, explained.

“I had pain walking, getting into a car, even sitting. Basically, anytime I had to move my hips, I’d have pain. I had to wear a lift in one shoe,” Doris said. “But living in Florida, it’s hard to wear a lift in a sandal, so I would sometimes just limp.”

This summer, Doris decided to come to Chicago, where her daughter and son-in-law live to have her right hip replaced and get the necessary support from her family to recover.

Thankfully, her daughter had done significant online research, concluding that Illinois Bone and Joint Institute had exceptional hip surgeons specializing in helping patients through joint replacement surgery.

Learn More About Outpatient Joint Replacement →

An Orthopedic Surgeon Who Listens Carefully

Together, Doris and her daughter schedule online with Dr. Sean Sutphen to find out what she could anticipate as an outcome after surgery and going through total hip replacement recovery.

“I didn’t know what to expect, except for what I saw from the wonderful recommendations that I read,” Doris said.

“From the first meeting, I was impressed with how he listened to everything I had to say. He didn’t rush us, and he paid attention to all the issues and questions about total hip replacement recovery. I’m so grateful for that.”

One of Doris’s concerns was a heart issue—an embolism—that occurred during her first hip replacement surgery. Dr. Sutphen prescribed blood thinners to help prevent this complication during her hip replacement surgery.

The night before her surgery in mid-June 2021, Dr. Sutphen called her at home to offer reassurance.

“I was so shocked. He just wanted to tell me that he felt everything would go very well and that I’d soon be in the midst of my total hip replacement recovery. There’s something extraordinary about a doctor who would take the time to do that.”

Back to Normal After Total Hip Replacement Recovery

After undergoing hip replacement surgery, Doris woke up feeling no pain thanks to the medication administered to her. She remembers the nurses getting her out of bed pretty quickly to start walking so that she could begin this part of her total hip replacement recovery.

He visited her, confirmed all went well, and gave her two pieces of good news. Doris would only have to stay one night in the hospital, and she would not be sent to a skilled nursing facility.

To protect against COVID, she would go directly to her daughter’s home, where at-home therapy would begin.

Physical Therapy for Total Hip Replacement

Physical therapists visited Doris during her total hip replacement recovery time to help her rehabilitate. While at her daughter’s home, she learned how to navigate stairs and walk again.

Weeks later, she began to adhere to prescribed exercises daily. “I would march, lift my knees high, move side to side, and use exercise bands to stretch and strengthen my muscles,” she said.

Doris has since discarded the lift she used to wear in her shoe, and, now at eight weeks post-surgery, she often forgets she even had worries about potential complications during total hip replacement recovery.

“In no time at all, it seems I switched from a walker to a cane, and then I didn’t need that anymore. I feel that I was so fortunate to have such an amazing surgeon and, at this age, to have made such a fast recovery.”

Success: A Total Recovery From Hip Replacement Surgery

Like many others, Doris opted to get a pet during COVID. Her puppy Ozzie has kept her very busy, and she’s thankful that she has returned to walking him daily and she can bend over his food and water dishes without any problem or pain. Now that Doris is 100 percent, she’s planning to return to Florida for the winter.

One of the things she’ll share with friends in Florida and anyone else interested in knowing about her hip joint replacement surgery is that life is too short to live with hip pain.

Doris gives her dog a treat.
Doris is free from hip pain and can bend over with ease to give Ozzie his treats.
Doris and her dog Ozzie take daily walks, which are no problem following hip replacement surgery.

“I know this can be a terrifying surgery for many people and that some worry about the total hip replacement surgery process, but if you’re able, I don’t think you should neglect to do it.”

Doris learned that despite her age, she’d made a full recovery. She attributes this to excellent communication with her orthopedic surgeon and listening and adhering to the regime of her physical therapists.

“I had some wonderful help from IBJI’s physical therapists during my total hip replacement recovery, and because I like to exercise, I tried to follow through with everything they told me to do during my total hip replacement surgery recovery,” Doris said. “They said eventually it would get better, and it did.”

Get Relief From Your Hip Pain

Hip Care and Treatment at IBJI

Doris gives her dog a treat1.
Doris and her dog Ozzie take daily walks, which are no problem following hip replacement surgery.

Whether you are just starting your hip care journey or need a second opinion, IBJI’s hip surgeons are here to help provide you with the necessary care for your ailment. Get the relief you’re seeking with the help of IBJI.

Schedule online with an IBJI hip surgeon to discuss treatment options (like total hip replacement surgery) and create an individualized approach to your care.

Check out IBJI’s additional online resources for hip care to learn more about conditions and read patient testimonials.

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Last updated in April 2022.

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