Overcoming Fear About Your Upcoming Hip Surgery

A major reason for putting off a hip replacement can be summed up in one word: fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of pain. Fear of falling. Fear of recovery.

More than 300,000 hips are replaced annually in the United States. However, fear of surgery can cause additional stress and anxiety in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the procedure.

Unfortunately, fear or anxiety can actually negatively affect the outcome of surgery. A study conducted by the Journal of Arthroplasty, found that anxiety in patients can be a predictor for complications after joint replacement. Patients going into surgery with anxiety or depression often required additional care, longer rehab and have more complications in recovery.

To help break through the fears, Dr. Stephen Reed shares some of what you can expect. Remember each person’s recovery is different.

You will need help.

Enlist a spouse, family member, friend, or hired helper. You will need help with simple chores, such as meal prep, cleaning, and laundry; bathing, using the bathroom and going to doctor visits. If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 2 weeks after surgery, talk with your provider about having a trained caregiver to come to your home.

You will be in pain.

Hips surgery will hurt; all major surgeries do. Most hip replacement patients are hospitalized for less than one day. It is difficult to determine how much discomfort you will experience after surgery because every person and case is unique. Most people, though, experience surgical pain for approximately two to four weeks following hip replacement surgery.

You must move.

We will have you up and walking the day of surgery. Take it slow and don’t push yourself beyond what you can handle. Moving around will not only speed up your recovery but will also increase the circulation to your legs and feet which will reduce your chance of getting a blood clot. Getting out of bed will also help to maintain and increase your muscle strength while preventing your new hip from getting stiff.

Pre-surgery anxiety is common. Ask questions and talk with other patients who’ve had similar procedures. Make a game plan for the day of surgery and your day of release from the hospital, so that you can ensure that everything is prepared. Being prepared should ultimately help lower your pre-surgery anxiety enough so that you can go under confidently, knowing that everything is going to be just fine!


The experts at Florida Orthopaedic Associates perform all types of surgeries, including total hip replacements. Our team of fellowship-trained orthopaedic physicians offer the latest non-surgical and surgical treatment options for the Central Florida community. Request an appointment through our online form or call the office to schedule an appointment today.