"What can I do after surgery, doctor?” This question is second only to "How long will it last?". Different surgeons give different advice on what a patient may do after surgery. Most would agree that a patient should take care for the first three months or so following the operation. For example, crossing legs, bending down low, picking items up off the floor, are all forbidden activities for the hip replacement patient in the immediate post-operative period. However, as surgery grows further away, so an individual can be more liberal with what they do. The author generally imposes few restrictions on his patients, although all should realise that the more punishment a hip replacement is given, the less time it is likely to last.

Some years back the author wrote to every patient on whom he had ever operated and asked them to send either a photograph or details of what they did in day-to-day life, including any unusual activities. The response was astonishing. The majority replied (more than 1000 patients!). There thus follows a list of activities that patients have undertaken following hip replacement. Please do not regard this list as permission to go out and do these things, but I trust it gives some idea as to what is possible after such a major operation.

'Routine' Activities

  • Cooking
  • Washing (bath and shower)
  • Household cleaning
  • DIY
  • Climbing ladders
  • Shopping
  • Hanging curtains
  • Lovemaking
  • Gardening
  • Car driving
  • Motorcycling
  • Bicycling

Sporting Activities

  • Cricket
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Horse riding
  • Skiing (snow and water)
  • Sailing (dinghies and larger)
  • Swimming (all strokes, inc. breaststroke)
  • Canoeing
  • Mountain biking
  • Hill walking
  • Gymnasium workouts
  • Football coaching
  • Scuba diving
  • Karate
  • Camel riding
  • Tandem parachute jumping
  • Glacier walking