Hip Replacement Surgery

I just found out that I need to have hip replacement surgery. I’m overcome with joy…not.

Has anyone had this type of surgery done? I’m 41 and a bit worried about the time for recovery. While I want to make sure everything goes smoothly, I still have goals for 2020, including the 24 Hours of the Old Pueblo in February. My surgery will be at the end of November…will I recover in time? Even if I can’t ride it (super sad face) will I be able to at least go and volunteer?

While I know everyone is different, I’d love to hear what others have gone though. While I’ve had minor surgeries in the past (knee) this one has me a bit freaked out.

I haven’t but a guy I know had one replaced and just got his other one replaced a couple of days ago. With each surgery he was back riding for the spring/summer and was putting in the miles and based on my conversation with him he expects to be back at it for the next road season. Hope this provides some hope for you!

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I have taken care of patients with hip replacements and been around family members that have had hip replacements. Even as far back as the 1970’s a hip replacement patient was gotten up and walking with a walker within 24 hours of surgery. Back in those days the procedure was quite a bit bigger than what is typically done today. There are two key things during the post operative period. Number one is not getting an infection in the wound. Number two is doing the rehab therapy. From one case I know of directly, don’t go swimming during the first 4 weeks post op. This is a good way to get an infection.
If all goes well you will probably be feeling like you are back to normal at or near the 6th week post mark. What most people don’t realize is that absolute total healing takes much longer than that initial 6 weeks. Make sure you discuss your current cycling activities with your surgeon and your physical therapist. By the 6 weeks mark they will be able to give you guidance with resuming cycling. Most likely they will recommend easing back into it. You will most likely be able to go to the event as a volunteer in February and be back to pretty normal riding by late spring.

wishing you a speedy and uneventful recovery.


I’m 48 and predominantly into marathon running. I had a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in Oct 2017 and was back training about 6 months later. Like most people, I found the 1st 2 weeks post-op awful. But after that, things got better quickly. At 6 weeks, I was totally pain free. My surgeon insisted on crutches for 3 months and no training. After that, I was doing light rides on the trainer and swimming fairly hard. At 6 months I was walking normally and started running again. At 12 months, I’d recovered totally and had regained the strength and flexibility I had pre-op. Don’t be freaked out. My new hip is beyond superb! I wish you all the best.

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I had a total hip replacement when I was 54 (actually the sixth anniversary is on Monday!). I was back on the bike (turbo trainer) within six weeks and riding outside a few weeks later once there was no chance of ice on the roads. I was back home within 30hrs of going into hospital for the operation - once you can walk up and down stairs using crutches you got sent home as basically you were accustomed to that environment and not whatever germs were going round the hospital.

My surgeon was basically of the opinion “do what you can until you feel discomfort” but I don’t think he quite realised what I got up to! I’d go for six mile muddy walks whilst still on crutches :grin:. I only stuck with the crutches for as long as necessary as an actual aid but kept “using” them so that people would give me room when on public transport and in the street.

The year following my surgery I did 10,000km of riding, a mixture of road and MTB and have kept to that sort of level since then.

A lot depends on your attitude but if my other hip started showing signs of arthritis I wouldn’t hesitate to go for the surgery, a complete game changer for me.

Hope it goes well for you.

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I’m 62. Had a right THR 5 years ago. My surgeon did the direct anterior approach which cuts no muscle. I was home the same day. I needed no formal PT, just 6 exercises at home 3 times a day for 15 minutes each and 4 half mile walks a day beginning on the first post-op day. I needed a walker for a week. I was on the trainer at day 3 for 20 minutes although I needed a step stool to get my leg over the top tube. I rode outside for an hour at three weeks. I was in the gym doing legs at about 16 weeks. Recovery was quick. Make sure your surgeon is top drawer. You’ll be good to go soon.

No need for a second opinion, the X-ray makes a pretty clear case.

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This is sounding more like what I’m expecting.

Hi @swcreates

I’m very curious to know how you fared, one year later. I’m contemplating anterior hip replacement in January, and this thread has been encouraging.

How long did it take you to get back to normal daily activities, and how long back to training?


I’m 11 weeks out tomorrow from TKA (knee replacement) and have been on the bike since week 3, outdoors since week 6. Hips and knees are quite different so my experience may not relate at all. However, strong recommend Kelly Starrett’s new surgery series at The Ready State on YouTube. He recently had a TKA in his mid-40s. I wish my surgery had followed his as lots of good advice for both pre-surgery and post-surgery actions.

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I had posterior replacement, which meant i had a few more restrictions, but I was back on the indoor trainer 3 weeks post op. had my first road ride about 6 weeks post op. I went super slow the first few weeks and then built back up.

I’d say I was about 8 weeks post op until I was back to pre-surgery fitness. Now, 10 months post op I’m better then I was before. My left/right power imbalance had gone from a 50% difference to 5% and my power is way up.


Hi @swcreates,

Belated thanks. That’s a really impressive return to biking, especially considering you had the posterior approach.

This is very encouraging - I really appreciate it. It’s been hard lately to believe that I’ll ever be able to exercise again!


Hello, Hip-hip Hooray! Obviously, you have come to a point in your condition that you have to have the surgery. I had a slipped epiphysis at age 15 from doing a TON of XC running after just shedding some childhood obesity. I had pins to reposition the hip joint (for lack of a better phrase) and was in traction for about 2 weeks. I was warned that in my 30s, I would have arthritis in that joint.

Like clockwork, arthritis set in and I could not walk more than 5 minutes without having to sit down and stretch. I felt like an 80-year old in a 30-something body. I finally bit the bullet and got the BEST surgeon (I got on a 1.5 year wait list as I wanted to have the BEST to do the surgery). That was in June of 2005. Lesson learned - I should have done the surgery sooner. The years of compensating take their toll on your gait, your muscle balance and your lower back. I am sure you have that now.

As soon as I could get vertical (with crutches/cane), I hit the pool and that is all I did for weeks. August of that same year I was able to get on the bike, but had to keep an eye on my hip angle. So I kept cycling to a minimum. If at all possible, find a warm place where you can have your recovery. I live in the Pacific Northwest where it is damp and cold in the winter months. I was off work anyway (short term disability), so I decided to take my wife to the Philippines, never been there before, so I did my recovery there. Being in a warm and humid place allowed me to be more limber, ditched the cane (funny enough, I can ride a bike, but as soon as I got off the bike, I relied on the cane).

I found that rehab was the BEST thing I could do to make sure the hip joint stayed healthy and strong. My biggest job was to get the left leg the same strength as the right. I invested in a power meter and focused on L/R balance - to this day, I am mindful of that. Just read your post and congratulations again on the new HIP.

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Walking was what was killing me and I had similar thoughts for sure. I had two anterior hip replacements, 6-months apart in 2019. I hoped for just one even though the surgeon recommend bilateral when I did the first one. The second was in Nov '19. I was back on the trainer in mid-December 2019 (I’m sure you can see that in my profile). This past year I’ve ridden further and felt better than a long time before my two surgeries. A lot of that was due to the opportunity to train consistently for sure. I consider myself fortunate.

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Thanks @TimmyR, your story is incredibly timely: I had already scheduled anterior L hip replacement for Jan 25, and resigned myself to giving up all cycling, even electric-assist commutes, but up until this week I could still at least walk OK for up to an hour at a time.

Then a few days ago my right hip started to give me grief: pain, locking up, ominous crunching noises, instability, all making walking now painful too. I suspect it’s the labrum - that’s how it started on L side. Oy vey!

The good news is I was able to find an opening with my surgeon this week, to suss out my options. My hope (perhaps delusional) is maybe he can tack on fixing the right hip during the upcoming surgery, or soon afterward, in case “fix” = R THR.

I’m glad to hear you’ve had a great year on the bike post-surgeries. I miss any kind of exercise, but I especially miss the satisfaction of completing hard TR workouts, and I can’t even wrap my mind around possibility of riding in the mountains ever again.

I do so hope to report a year from now that I’ve been able to have a good year on the bike. Thanks for the encouragement.

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