Overcoming Chronic Hip Pain: Recovery Timeline for Common Treatments

Chronic hip pain can be more than just a physical ailment; it’s a disruption to one’s daily life, affecting everything from simple movements to a good night’s sleep. Whether the pain originates from age-related wear and tear, a sports injury, or an underlying condition, understanding the recovery timeline for common treatments is crucial to setting realistic expectations and paving the way for optimal healing.  

Expert care can help ensure that you’re not just aware of your recovery path but actively involved in every step. Read on to delve into the recovery timelines for popular treatments and discover how to find a trusted partner in overcoming chronic hip pain.

Close up image of woman suffering from hip pain

Hip Arthroscopy 

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to view, diagnose, and treat various conditions within the hip joint. Through small incisions, a camera (arthroscope) is inserted, allowing surgeons to address issues such as torn cartilage, bone fragments, or inflammation without the need for a major surgical opening. 

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Procedure Duration: 

While the specific duration can vary based on the complexity of the condition being treated, a typical hip arthroscopy procedure lasts between 1 to 2 hours. 


  • Immediate Post-op: Patients might feel a bit drowsy from the anesthesia. It’s common to have some swelling and discomfort, but these are often manageable with medications. Depending on the procedure’s extent, crutches or a walker might be needed for a few days to several weeks. 
  • First Few Weeks: This period usually involves starting physical therapy to regain hip mobility and strength. Weight-bearing and movement restrictions may apply based on the surgeon’s advice. 
  • 1-3 Months: By this stage, many patients can resume daily activities, though certain high-impact actions might still be off-limits. Continuous physical therapy sessions will aid in strengthening and flexibility. 
  • 3-6 Months: Most patients can re-engage with sports and other strenuous activities, but it’s crucial to follow medical guidance closely. 

Life After Recovery:

The ultimate goal of hip arthroscopy is to restore function and eliminate pain. Post-recovery, many patients report significant improvements in their hip’s mobility and a drastic reduction in discomfort. Daily tasks, exercises, and even sports typically become more manageable and enjoyable. To ensure sustained health of the hip, regular exercise and periodic medical check-ups are recommended. 

Hip Arthroplasty 

Hip arthroplasty, commonly referred to as total hip replacement, is a surgical procedure wherein the damaged or diseased parts of the hip joint are replaced with artificial components. This procedure aims to alleviate pain and improve mobility in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fractures, or other hip-related conditions that haven’t responded well to non-surgical treatments. 

Procedure Duration: 

The duration of a hip arthroplasty can vary, but on average, the procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours. 


  • Immediate Post-op: After the procedure, patients often spend a few hours in a recovery room before being moved to a regular room. Depending on the approach and specific patient factors, some individuals might even begin standing or walking with assistance as early as the same day of the surgery. 
  • First Few Weeks: Patients will likely use walking aids like crutches or a walker for initial support. Physical therapy usually starts within a day or two, focusing on strengthening exercises and walking. 
  • 1-3 Months: Gradually, as healing progresses, patients will start to walk more extended distances without support and engage in daily activities. It’s essential to follow physical therapy guidelines to ensure optimal recovery. 
  • 3-6 Months: By this period, most patients have regained much of their strength and mobility. Many can return to their regular activities, including driving, light sports, and exercises, though high-impact activities might still be restricted. 

Life After Recovery: 

Post-hip arthroplasty, a large majority of patients experience a dramatic reduction in pain and a substantial improvement in their ability to perform everyday activities. Artificial hip joints typically last for 15 to 20 years. While some restrictions, such as extreme flexing of the hip, may be advised, most people can return to their activities with newfound vigor and a significantly enhanced quality of life. 

Medications, Injections, and Infusions 


These are typically oral drugs prescribed to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility. Common medications for hip pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relievers like acetaminophen, and muscle relaxants. 


Recovery is often immediate, as these are typically taken at home. It’s crucial to monitor for any side effects and keep the prescribing physician informed. 

Life After Recovery 

When effective, medications can significantly improve daily life, reducing pain and allowing for more mobility. It’s essential to adhere to the prescribed dosage and schedule. 


These are treatments where medication is directly administered into or around the hip joint. Common injections include corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and pain and hyaluronic acid to lubricate the joint and improve movement. 


After receiving an injection, patients might experience some initial soreness or bruising at the injection site. It’s generally recommended to rest the affected joint for a day or two. The benefits of the injection can be felt within a few days and can last several weeks or even months. 

Life After Recovery 

These can provide substantial relief from pain and inflammation, enhancing movement and daily activities. The duration of the relief varies, and some patients may require periodic repeat injections. 


This involves administering medication intravenously over a specific period. Infusions, such as biologics for rheumatoid arthritis, target the underlying causes of pain and inflammation rather than just the symptoms. 


Patients might need to rest after the infusion, and any side effects or reactions should be monitored. The duration for which the medication remains effective varies, depending on the specific drug and the individual’s condition. 

Life After Recovery 

Depending on the underlying condition being treated, infusions can offer transformative results. For conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, infusions can lead to periods of remission or dramatically reduced symptoms. 

Physical and Occupational Therapy 

Physical Therapy (PT) 

PT focuses on improving movement, strength, and function. For those with hip pain, physical therapy can offer exercises and treatments to alleviate pain, enhance mobility, and prevent further complications. 


Recovery is an ongoing process. After initial sessions, patients typically receive a set of exercises to practice at home. Over time, as strength and flexibility improve, the intensity and variety of exercises may be adjusted. Regular check-ins with the therapist monitor progress and address any concerns. 

Life After Recovery  

A successful PT regimen can significantly decrease pain and increase joint mobility. Many patients find themselves resuming activities they previously avoided or participating in new ones. Maintaining a routine of recommended exercises can also prevent recurrence of pain or further degradation of the joint. 

Occupational Therapy (OT) 

OT aims to help individuals perform everyday tasks more comfortably and efficiently. For hip pain sufferers, occupational therapists might provide strategies to modify daily activities, making them less taxing on the hip, or recommend assistive devices to improve mobility and independence. 


After evaluating a patient’s specific needs, an OT will suggest modifications and strategies. Recovery involves adapting to these new techniques and incorporating them into daily life. Follow-up sessions may be scheduled to refine strategies based on the patient’s experiences and feedback. 

Life After Recovery 

With the tools and techniques acquired from OT, daily tasks can become much more manageable and less painful. From using assistive devices to adopting different ways of moving or performing tasks, the goal is to enable a life with less pain and more independence. 

Diet & Exercise 

Proper nutrition and consistent exercise play symbiotic roles in managing and alleviating hip pain. An anti-inflammatory diet, replete with foods like fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds, can reduce inflammation and promote joint health. In tandem, low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, and walking enhance joint mobility, alleviate stiffness, and fortify the muscles surrounding the hip. 


Adopting a combined approach of diet and exercise may require adjustments. As you transition to an anti-inflammatory diet, there might be initial cravings or a sense of missing out on favorite foods. However, as the benefits become palpable over time, these feelings often diminish. When integrating new exercises, it’s crucial to start slowly to prevent strain or injury. Over time, endurance and strength will build, allowing for increased intensity and duration. Remember, post-exercise soreness is typical, but persistent pain might indicate overexertion and necessitate a review of the regimen. 

Life After Recovery 

The consistent integration of a balanced diet and regular exercise can transform one’s life. Not only can these measures significantly reduce hip pain, but they also usher in a host of other health advantages, including improved cardiovascular health, enhanced mental well-being, and increased energy levels. As the body grows accustomed to this new lifestyle, individuals often find they can partake in activities and hobbies previously sidelined due to pain. 

Chronic hip pain need not define your life. With the right knowledge and treatments tailored to your unique needs, relief is within reach. Everyone’s journey to recovery is personal, and at Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers, we understand that. Our dedicated team is ready to walk with you every step of the way, ensuring you have the support, guidance, and expert care you deserve. If you’re ready to reclaim your life from hip pain, don’t hesitate. Reach out to Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers today and take the first step towards a brighter, pain-free future.