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Total Hip Replacement Exercise Guide: Postoperative Information

Reduce pain and swelling

The below information is for patients who are within the first 6-8 weeks after surgery, before attending their first follow-up appointment.

Ice and heat

  • Ice can be applied to your operated leg for 10 –15 minutes. You may find this most helpful after exercise. Ice on the thigh while elevating your leg above your heart helps decrease to swelling
  • Beginning one week after surgery, you may apply heat to your thigh or the front of your hip, for 10-15 minutes before you exercise. Do not apply heat directly over the incision

Pain medication

  • Pain medication should be taken as prescribed
  • It is important that your pain is controlled so that you are able to complete 2-3 exercise sessions each day and gradually progress your walking
  • If you have pain when doing your exercises, take your pain medication before starting your exercises. The goal is to be 4/10 or lower (low to moderate pain) on the 0-10 pain scale
  • For more information about pain management visit


  • You are required to sleep with pillow(s) between your legs until you have your 6-8 week follow-up and your hip precautions have been removed
  • You may sleep on your back or on either side with pillow(s) between your thighs, but not on your stomach
  • Scar sensitivity is normal. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend lying on your operated side

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