Mine was a month ago. Going in my doctor said 6 weeks before driving. My physical therapist and I agreed "when it wasn't uncomfortable." I started this last week at the end of my 3rd week, and I have a very long driving commute. I didn't have any pain except getting out until I duplicated exactly how I got in!
The pain sucks, there's no denying that, and I surely was counting down every 4 hours between pain meds the first two weeks. I was also having serious thoughts about putting off the second hip during that time, but now I rate my new hip pain a "2" during therapy -- and it's muscular now -- while my to-be-done hip is a "6-7" during and sometimes "9-10" hours after if we worked hard -- and of course it's joint. Needless to say, Sept 12th when I do it all again, can't come soon enough.
I've had other surgeries, and the goal is always to get back as before as quickly as possible. This isn't the case, in my experience, with THR. The goal is to get back doing it differently and thus safely. It was a difficult distinction for me to make in the beginning.
Just know it will all be worth it, and let your loved ones take care of you.
I was driving at 5 weeks. Not much problem getting in and out of the car, and none driving. I am still dealing with pain,at 9 weeks, but it has been pointed out to me that those who have elective surgery, due to joint problems, are more pleased with surgery than those who have it because of injury.......such as Collinsmom, who says her pain level is at 2 in the replaced and 6 or 7 on the one yet to be done. With an injury, there has been no pain before the surgery, so having a level of 2 would seem pretty good, I guess!
Pain....horrible. Not the hip, but the incision and all those muscles and tendons that were cut. I actually screamed out loud the first time they tried to turn me a little. I was so embarassed. But the nurses were really good. But you know what.....it got less and less as the days went by. Do not hesitate to ask for your meds....don't wait till the pain is there!!! I actually had no pain while I was lying in bed. It was when they made me move; those horrid people!!!
Driving....I couldn't wait to drive. My doctor told me 8 weeks. But that's his standard time for lifting all restrictions. I was in my truck before that but he'll never know!! I guess it depends on what hip, standard or automatic and you!!! My hip was the left and it's an automatic suv. The biggest problem I had was getting in!! That's where the running board came in and in the beginning the "leg lifter" I got in the rehab facility.
But remember.......saftey. If you can not get in and out of your vehicle "fairly quick" then I'd wait. God forbid (and I hate to be morbid but this is life) you get into an accident and have to get OUT FAST...you want to be able to. You'll know when your ready.
My dr told me 6 weeks...I did wait cause I was nervous to start sooner. My first driving trip was about 5 min away...it was exciting... When I got to my car I looked at it and thought well how do I get in....my THR was my right hip, so getting in the passenger side was easy...now I had to get in with the operated hip first...I had to really think about it. WHen I did get in, then I had to worry about getting out. After a few times, I was alot more confident and it was not a problem. Just make sure you can move your legs..be safe! Start out just going to close places, until you are sure you are ok.
I had right done 1.5 years ago and believe it or not was driving in a little over 2 weeks time and back to work in 3 weeks (desk job). The Dr. suggested 6 weeks but I live less than a 3 miles from my job so I guess that made a difference. I didn't abuse the driving at all, kept local for at least 6 weeks and then slowly extended myself driving. It is hard as I am tall at 6'5 and climbing in/out of the minivan I used pillows to prop me up more so I maintained 90 degrees when driving. I am going in the hospital tomorrow (New England Baptist in Boston) and having my left hip replaced. I hope to be driving in the same time as I am told you can usually drive sooner after the left hip is done. In all honesty, there wasnt much main with the hip at all and I guess I compare it to the knee alot (Ive had both knees replaced) and the knees were done first and there is little comparison on the knees and the therapy was 10 times harder/more painful than the hip. I am also on the young side (38) so as the Dr. told me that recovery time is generally quicker in younger patients. I have had all 3 operations on a Thursday and have always come home on the following Monday, this time they told me since I am being operated at 9am tomorrow (the earliest) they will have me up tomorrow night and I may have a (slight) chance at going home Sunday. Honestly, I hated using the commode for the 12 weeks (that truly sucked!) and hated sleeping at night because I couldn't get comfortable for the first 3 weeks. I found after about 3-4 weeks the recovery speeds up a bit.