Hip Replacement - what happens if you fall off?

I’m contemplating hip replacement. Probably more of a “when” than “if” at this point.

They tell you you can return to riding. Surely they realize there is a fall risk. Does anyone know what happens if you fall? Is it easier to break a hip / femur after an implant?

Crash your car, fall off your bike, trip over the dog… Your question is probably best answered by a medic, (ideally one who also rides, lol). I always worry about internet advice obtained from strangers when dealing with medical issues.

Have a 70 year old friend who had a hip replacement a couple of years ago. Little choice - she was pretty crippled. She got launched about a year ago and landed on a rail on that side of her butt. Spectacular bruising but no damage to the hip! YMMV


One of the women at our barn broke her hip when her mare came to a screeching halt at the trot. Planted all four feet. It wasn’t healing well and was replaced. Something in the replacement failed so it was replaced. When she was reasonably mobile she was at the barn frequently. She got back to riding. It took a while with a lot of hard work, but the effort paid off. You can’t see any signs of a problem.


I don’t know about the falling off part but it appears to be a pretty quick recovery. My hay guy had both his hips replaced- did one, then the other. He wasn’t down for long- a couple weeks each time. Came out on crutches during his recovery but I don’t think it was a terribly difficult recovery.

My injured foot took several months to heal because I bruised all the bones- give me a fracture any day over bone bruises because a fracture heals much faster.

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Thank you! This is what I want to hear. I have an Arab who is a little spook prone. Came off once pretty badly in the 5 years I’ve had him (which was actually extenuating circumstances).

And I don’t believe any horse is totally bomb proof, so even if I got something else, there’s always that risk. We had a suspected earthquake in our state earlier this spring (we found this out later and this is really unusual here) and even the most sane lesson horses were acting out that day.

You need to consult your surgeon. My surgeon was quite firm in his direction that I never ride, skate, ski or participate in any activity that is an increased fall risk. My bone quality was described as poor and a the surgery as technically difficult.

Lol, did I listen…no, but I very carefully chose my horse, and situation.


Depends on your condition. I had a hip resurfacing 13 years ago. Most of my femur I was born with is still there. A total hip replacement loses much more femur. (And in my opinion, is more fragile) I’ve been launched, pulled off, pushed off, and fallen off a horse. I still ride. If you can, get an opinion from a ortho… that does resurfacing and total hip replacements.

If a hammer is all the tool the surgeon has, everybody is a nail.

I haven’t fallen off the horse but I did trip over the lunge whip and fell full on my 5 month old hip replacement.
My horse just looked down at me like what the heck are you doing down there. The hip was fine. It didn’t even bruise on the incision line.


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I’m in year 3 with my new hip. Circumstances dictated that I haven’t been on a horse.

But when discussing recovery, etc. with the surgeon as someone mentioned above I was told don’t do anything that might break the hip

I will get back on a horse one day and just be careful as I would normally be

You will be thrilled with your new hip. I know, after hobbling around for 2+ years and all the pain I am in heaven with mine.

You can fit a flake of hay quite nicely in between the sides of the walker :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

Late to this thread but I’ve had both of my hip joints replaced, one in 2016 and the other in 2019. Quick recovery with both - walking without a cane or walker within a couple of days. My surgeon had no problem with me riding again. I have hit the ground several times since then and had no issues with either hip. The new femur head is titanium and the socket is lined with the same material…very strong material. I think the most important part of recovering from a hip joint replacement is good, consistent physical therapy. I went to a PT who specializes in rehabbing folks who do sports. I also continue to do a series of exercises before I get on a horse just to loosen the flexors. Good luck!

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Had both my hips replaced in 2018, at 58. My surgeon said he would prefer that I don’t jump. Physio said to wait until 6 months post op to ride, and work on overall fitness. I have tripped and fallen in the barn, slipped and fallen on ice, but not fallen off. Have two friends that bucked off after surgery and both were OK. Have titanium prosthesis in each hip, high polymer plastic cups and ceramic heads. For me, ongoing physio exercises and Feldenkrais/Somatic and being generally as riding fit as possible are key. I really have a good quality of life again, but know when to say “no thanks” to certain activities. Good luck!

The recovery time after hip replacement is individual and depends on your initial health state. As i know, there’s no so much risk for the implant after you fall, but it doesn’t mean you must limit your physical activity at all. I know a few powerlifters who continue training and competing after the operation and feel good.