/ / Hip Labral Tear Surgery: 10 Things You Need for Recovery

Hip Labral Tear Surgery: 10 Things You Need for Recovery

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It has been one year since my hip labral tear surgery. I was devastated the moment I was diagnosed with the labral tear in my hip.

I didn’t want to have surgery. I searched and searched the internet for something that said I wouldn’t need surgery.

My doctor told me that I could skip surgery but the labral tear wouldn’t heal on its own. It was a decision I had to make.

I was in pain and still relatively young (38 yrs old). It made more sense for me to get the hip labral tear surgery to avoid further injury later in my life.

I remember trying to prepare for my surgery. I wanted to have everything in order so my recovery would be easier.

I couldn’t put my foot on the ground for 6 weeks after my surgery so I knew it was going to be tough for me.

I got everything lined up in my house including a meal plan to help my husband and kids take care of me.

I had trouble finding things I would need during my hip surgery recovery period. There was very little information on the internet for things you would need during hip labral tear recovery.

I promised myself after I was fully recovered that I would share the most helpful things to make it easier for someone else after hip labral tear surgery or hip surgery. I’m fully recovered now and I’m so grateful I had the surgery.

I will also be including things that were helpful for my mom during her hip surgery. She broke her hip and needed a rod and pins to put her hip back together. Her recovery was much harder than mine but the things we needed were very similar.

Hopefully, this list will help you if you are getting ready for a hip labral tear surgery or another type of hip surgery.

Hip Labral Tear
Hip Labral Tear Surgery

Hip Labral Tear Surgery

1. FAMILY SUPPORT

I’m a stay at home mom and I pretty much run everything house-related. It was very important for me to let my family do things for me. Hopping around on one leg (for 6 weeks) wasn’t the ideal way to make dinner, do laundry, or clean my house. I had to have family support.

Like I mentioned earlier, I created a meal plan so it was easier for my family to grocery shop and cook meals. The women in my Bible study group ended up blessing us with meals for 2 weeks which helped out a lot. I also had a couple of friends bring us dinner which was a blessing as well.

If you don’t have anyone to help you, I highly recommend you get that figured out before your surgery. It is very hard to have hip surgery and take care of yourself.  You want to be sure you heal properly so you don’t need hip surgery again.

2.  FIND THINGS TO OCCUPY YOURSELF

One thing you will be doing is getting rest. I thought I would be tired during my recovery so I envisioned myself sleeping all the time. I was wrong. I had a lot of energy mentally (my body was tired) and I didn’t know what to do with it.

I ended up watching a lot of TV and reading books. You’ll want to be sure you have some stuff to do from a sitting or lying down position.

Thankfully, my mom came over every day during the week to help me with the kids. My husband took off 2 weeks and then went back to work. I needed my mom to occupy the kids and keep up with the house while my husband was at work.

3.  GET THE DOCTORS ORDERS BEFORE HIP SURGERY

There we multiple things that needed to be lined up before my surgery. I had a great doctor with a great staff but I feel like they didn’t cover everything.

It’s important to be proactive in this area. I made sure I had a checklist of the medical things I needed after my hip labral tear surgery.

Here are some things you should inquire about:

  • Physical therapy,
  • Prescriptions
  • Dr. check-ups
  • Medical equipment

I had a big hip brace on for 6 weeks and needed crutches. I didn’t even know that I had to wear the hip brace 24 hours a day (yes, even while sleeping) until the day of my surgery.

I ended up using a walker for most of my recovery. It was easier to hop around with the walker. The crutches were very unstable and I didn’t have the energy to use them in the beginning.

It’s also important to check with your insurance to see what they will provide and what they won’t provide. It’s not fun figuring these things out after your hip surgery. I needed a full understanding of what to expect so I could deal with my recovery.

4. GET COMFORTABLE CLOTHES

My surgery was in the summer so it was hot. I needed to make sure I had a few different pairs of comfy clothes. I got cotton shorts and cotton tank tops.

I made sure I had enough pairs to last me until we did laundry. I had a brace on my leg 24 hours a day and it was not easy to get on and off. I’m glad I had comfy clothes.

5. GET A WALKER AND PADDED GLOVES

Like I mentioned above, my Dr. only ordered me crutches. He didn’t see a need for a walker. I personally didn’t see a need for it until I realized how hard it was to get around on one leg.

One other thing I needed for the walker was padded gloves. My hands hurt really bad from putting so much weight on the walker. My husband actually put foam around the handles to help my wrists (you can get the foam at a hardware store).

Thankfully, I was able to borrow my mom’s walker. I was really convinced I didn’t need one so I didn’t get one ahead of time. Make sure to check with your insurance about a walker, they may cover it.

Drive Medical 10210-1 Deluxe Two Button Folding Walker with 5-Inch Wheels
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OZERO Weight Lifting Gloves Extra Grip Thick Leather Palm and Non-Slip Gel Pads, Half Finger Gym Glove for Weightlifting/Workout/Road Bike/Motorcycle Riding - Fit for Men and Women Black Medium
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  • Professional fingerless sports gloves - Provide your hands with strong protection and grip for summer outdoor sports and fitness exercises: gym workout, fitness, weightlifting, bodybuilding training, cycling, road bike, mountain bike, windsurfing, motorcycle, horse riding, hiking, hunting and so on
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6. GET A WHEELCHAIR

Hip Labral Tear Surgery

A wheelchair comes in handy for many things. It helped me get to my Dr appts and physical therapy appts. Your Dr office may have a wheelchair they can bring to you but it’s much more convenient to have your own. I borrowed one from my parent’s church and it worked well.

The wheelchair really came in handy when I wanted to get out of the house. My family would take me on walks because I couldn’t walk. It was so refreshing after being in the house for a long time. Fresh air is very helpful for recovery.

Medline Lightweight Transport Wheelchair with Handbrakes, Folding Transport Chair for Adults, 12 inch Wheels, Red
  • Medline transport lightweight wheelchair has large 12 inch rear wheels for better performance on uneven outdoor surfaces | Loop-style manual handbrakes are ideal for locking the rear wheels during transfers
  • Transport chair with powder coated aluminum ultralight frame is durable and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs
  • Folding transport wheelchair is portable, making it perfect for easy storage, transport and travel | Back folds down to make the chair more compact
  • Full length permanent armrests | Detachable footrests | Seat belt for safety | Comfortable nylon upholstery
  • Transport wheel chair seat dimensions are 18 x 16 inches | Weighs 23. 5 lbs | Color: Red

7.  GET A RAISED TOILET SEAT

I read something about maybe needing a raised toilet seat before my surgery. I was told I wouldn’t need it but I got it anyway. I figured that I could just send it back if I didn’t need it.

Well, I needed it and I’m so happy I got it. Imagine going to the bathroom squatting on one leg. That’s what I had to do for 6 weeks.

Now, there are different kinds of raised toilet seats. The one I got had handlebars on the side. The handlebars were removable but I ended up needing them.

I needed something to hold on to when I sat down. Having one leg out of commission causes some major balance issues.

Drive Medical RTL12027RA Elevated Raised Toilet Seat with Removable Padded Arms, Standard Seat
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  • Seat dimensions: 16.5"(D) x 17"(W) x 5"(H); Width between arms: 18"; Overall height: 10"; Weight capacity: 300 pounds. Heavy-duty worm screw
  • Fits all standard toilets and most elongated toilets.

8. GET SOFT GEL ICE PACKS

When you get out of hip labral tear surgery or hip surgery, you will need to ice your leg for a few days to keep the swelling down.  There are different options available but my favorite was the soft gel hip ice wrap.

I was trying to use ice out of my fridge and frozen vegetable but they were hard to deal with. I also couldn’t get them exactly where I needed them on my hip.

The gel ice wrap maneuvers really well and you don’t have to worry about getting wet. The gel packs freeze really well. I had an extra gel pack in the freezer so I wouldn’t have to wait for the one I was using to freeze again.

Cool Relief Ice Wrap 11”x12” Blue Cooling Hip Pack
  • ✔ STAYS COOL FOR LONGER … Ice packs for injuries rarely keep cold long enough. That’s why these gel hip ice packs by Cool Relief are made to stay cooler, longer.
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9. GET A SHOWER CHAIR AND HANDHELD SHOWER HEAD

I couldn’t take a shower by myself for a while. We have a tub/shower combo and I had to jump over the tub with one leg to get in the shower. I had to use my husband’s body as a support to get in and out of the shower.

Thank God I had my shower chair. I couldn’t imagine standing in the shower on one leg. It was a comforting feeling to sit securely in the shower without the fear of falling.

Another helpful tool was my handheld showerhead. I got one before my surgery because I didn’t know what to expect. It was perfect.

I was able to sit in my shower chair and use the showerhead to clean where I could. Most of the time, it just felt good to hold the warm water over my head while I was sitting in my shower chair.

I wasn’t allowed to bend past a 90-degree angle for several weeks so my husband had to shave my legs, wash my hair, and put my lotion on. I was very dependent on him for a few weeks before I could take a shower myself. Thankfully, I had a friend who let me borrow her shower chair.

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10. GET A REACHER TOOL

I had lots of help during my surgery but one thing I got sick of was asking for help all the time. My mom had a reacher tool from her hip surgery and let me borrow it. It was nice to be able to pick up something from the floor and not have to ask someone to help me.

After a while, you start losing your feeling of independence and this was one way I was able to regain it a little bit.

26" Handi Grip Reacher with Rotating Head (Yellow)
  • Use to reach items behind things or out of reach
  • Head rotates 90 degrees to reach from any angle
  • Use to help reach if you have difficulty bending
  • Flexible finger - like tip allows for picking up the smallest of items
  • 4 colors to choose from: Yellow, Green, Blue and Red

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Those are my recommendations for hip labral tear surgery or any hip surgery. I hope you can benefit from this list of recommendations for hip surgery recovery. These things really made a difference in my recovery. If you have any questions about my experience please contact me. I’m happy to answer your questions.

Have you had hip surgery? I’d love to hear about your experience.

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30 Comments

  1. These ideas and items would really be beneficial to almost any kinds of surgeries. Thanks for the list and I hope you are felling better.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! Just weeks away from
      The same surgery – so good of you to warn others – so appreciate it! I’m 44 years old – so scared but I have my husband to help. Thbakyou again!!!

      1. Praying for you Sally! I feel so good now. I’m so happy I had the surgery. It made such a difference. Hang in there!

      2. I know how scared you are I’m 51 with Epilepsy and need full hip replacement I’m terrified and am alone could use some prayers
        Thank you Dani in Massachusetts

  2. Thank you for all the information. I am having surgery Sept 4th and trying to see what has worked for others.

    1. Christine says:

      Hope you doing well after your surgery

      1. I’m doing amazing, thank you!

  3. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for the heads up, I had a list, yours really made me decide what I really need. My hip replacement surgery is on 20/09/19 trying to keep my mind clear so thank you for all the help. Hope you all well

    1. How was it ? How are you now ? I have it in 4 days, I am 31!
      Thanks for the info !
      I wish you are fine now.

      1. I’m fine. So happy I did it. Happy to help!

  4. Thank you! Two weeks until my surgery!!!

  5. I agree with every item Apryl has mentioned.Having gone through a hip replacement, now it has been removed due to an infection. I have a few more weeks of hopping on one leg, then the new hip goes in. With another 6 weeks of hopping😳.Anyway, the extended toilet seat Apryl choose is more helpful than the regular “potty chair” that stands over the toilet. For those of you with a tub shower combo, the transfer bench is helpful if: a) you are older or b) don’t have good help. A “leg lifter” is helpful!

    1. Thank you for sharing! Praying for your surgery and recovery!

  6. Jon Gibson says:

    Hi APRYL THANK FOR THIS WEBSITE! I had been having severe pain in my left hip on and off for about 9 monthes then 2 weeks ago I was getting up off our sofa and my hip locked up and to stand it was clicking with pain in my thigh and sharp pain pulling in my knee then a release with a pop in my knee. I had my right knee replaced in 2013 and for 2 weeks I cried until my surgeon prescribed soma,vicodin and oxycontin. I am a retired police officer and merchant marine but I thought I was tough but the pain reduced me to a cry baby. All I had been given post op was Norco 5.5/325 every 12 hours I suffered ! I am 65 and dreading hip surgery. I had no idea what was happening with my hip until I watched an episode of SEAL team where the master chief was diagnosed with labral tear!!

  7. I feel so much better knowing I am not the only woman who happens to be 38 now with a labral tear in her hip having to undergo surgery. I don’t know many details about mine and I go for it in two days. Your advice has certainly been insightful. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I felt the same way. So thankful that I could give you some encouragement. You will feel much better when it’s over.

      1. Aly and Apryl, in starting to wonder if this age is some terrible magical number for those of us who need the surgery young, lol!
        Although, my doc has some theories about women who hasn’t given birth in recent years: both epidurals and some of the birthing techniques being taught. April, you mentioned kiddos- not sure about you, Aly.
        Anyway, thanks, Apryl for sharing. I’m a planner, and have had a really hard time finding suggestions for post-op on this one!

  8. Heading in for a labral tear surgery in 2 weeks. Thank you so much for this list, it helped with many questions. I know I’m supposed to start PT the following day but I wont be able to drive for quite a while being my right leg. Were you able to have someone come to your house for PT?

    1. I’m glad my post helped cleared some things up. I was confused about PT as well. I wasn’t able to start PT for 4 weeks because my Dr wanted the tear repair to heal. I was in a brace to limit my motion because he didn’t want it to tear again.

      Every Dr is different so I’m not sure what yours will approve. On a good note, once I started PT, I was walking very quickly after.

      I’m praying for you and your surgery!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have the same surgery in a week and just ordered your suggestions. I truly appreciate you!

    1. SO happy it was helpful! Praying for you!

  10. Thank you so much for this info! I wish I would have read it sooner! I had a labral tear repair and acetabular repair. I am alone with my 16 year old son. He helps some but I do still have to take care of him. My pain is minimal (thank God) and did prepare somewhat because I had a wrist fracture that had to be repaired in July. I WAS NOT prepared for that. I had my bathroom remodeled and took out the tub so all I have is a shower in there with the removable shower head. I rearranged my house to make it accessible as well. I never imagined how tough this was going to be. I have always done things on my own so my pride is too big to ask for help though. I will definitely heed your advice as my ortho said I’d need a replacement in 3-7 years due to hEDS. Thanks again! Trish

  11. Lori johnson says:

    I was diagnosed with a labral tear and will be meeting with my surgeon on 5/24/21. Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate you sharing your perspective and experience. Very helpful!

    1. So thankful you found it helpful!

  12. This article was extremely helpful!` Thank you for sharing your experience.

  13. Hi Apryl! I am 33 years old with 4 kiddos, ages 4 months to 7 years. I have been diagnosed with cam impingement and a labral tear and will likely be undergoing surgery soon. Are you still happy you did it at this point? I see so many mixed reviews. It’s an awfully huge undertaking for me with my kiddos at the ages they are, and I’m so apprehensive about putting myself and my family through this!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I’m so thankful that I proceeded with the surgery. The pain relief is like night and day. After the surgery, I felt great and was able to spend a ton of time with my kids. The hard part was not being able to clean, cook, dress myself or clean myself for a while. If you have family support you should be fine. My kids loved taking care of mommy.

  14. Stephanie Garza says:

    I am 45 and on Day 5 post labral tear repair + bone shaving to decrease excess bone in my hip that had literally shredded underlying tissue. I haven’t needed meds for 2 days, and I am getting around ok on crutches. After reading this I am going to see if I can find a walker and wheelchair. I don’t know how well I can handle this for 5 more weeks. PT starts on 8/3, after my follow-up on the 2nd. I am really looking forward to that! I agree the shower chair and toilet chair have been godsends.