The purpose of this study was to understand the postoperative rehabilitation patterns of orthopaedic patients and to explore factors which affected the patients' functional recovery. A descriptive study with convenience sampling was performed. Study participants included orthopaedic inpatients from two hospitals in Taipei. In total, 100 patients were selected with an average age of 60.88 ± 17.61 years, of which the most common type of surgery was a total knee replacement (49.0%). Among these participants, 79.0% received rehabilitation guided by nursing staff, while only 6.0% were instructed by a physical therapist. The predictive factor for the time to first ambulation was the intensity of pain experienced on the second day after the operation, which accounted for 4.5% of the total variance. As for the functional status prior to discharge, predictive factors included the time to first ambulation and whether nursing staff provided instructions on rehabilitation, which accounted for 11.2% of the total variance. We recommend that professional staff should promote patient guidance toward postoperative rehabilitation, assistance in achieving the first ambulation and a resolution of obstacles to rehabilitation.