You enter a period of rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery. This is a critical part of the recovery process, as it helps ensure that you regain your mobility and strength. Rehabilitation typically begins in the hospital with physical therapy sessions and continues for months at home. The goal of rehabilitation is to help you return to activities like walking, climbing stairs, running, swimming, or biking – all without pain, while also minimizing the risk of falls.
In this article, we will talk about what is typically expected from rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery. Keep in mind that every physical therapy and rehabilitation program is individualized to the patient.
Physical Therapy for Hip Replacement Patients
Physical therapists have developed exercises specifically designed for those who have had hip replacements to ensure the best possible outcome of the procedure. These exercises aim to not only reduce pain but also improve your range of motion and function while helping you transition back into regular activities safely. Physical therapy sessions can last for several weeks, and patients also do exercises while at home.
Your physical therapy program after a hip replacement may consist of the following:
- Range Of Motion Exercises:These exercises focus on restoring hip flexibility and mobility. Examples include leg lifts, knee bends, wall slides, and ankle pumps.
- Stretching Exercises: Stretching exercises improve flexibility and prevent stiffness. Examples of these exercises are hamstring stretches and calf stretches.
- Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening exercises focus on rebuilding muscle strength around the surgical site and avoiding putting too much strain on the new joint. Examples of strengthening exercises are sit-to-stands, step-ups, and weight shifting.
- Balance Training: To prevent falls caused by instability after surgery, balance training is important. This set consists of various proprioceptive drills that teach patients how to maintain their equilibrium with the use of foam or rocker boards to create an unstable surface.
- Gait Training: The purpose behind gait training is to relearn how to walk properly, while maintaining posture alignment with the help of crutches, canes, and parallel handlebars.
Your physical therapist will work closely with you throughout this period to monitor your progress and approve you to move to a more advanced stage. You will be moving through different stages until you regain full function after a hip replacement. Most patients can move using crutches in two to four weeks after surgery and can walk without assistance after six weeks.
Rehabilitation plays an essential role in helping individuals who have undergone hip replacement have successful outcomes. If you are recovering from a hip replacement, take your time with your exercises and always check with your doctor and physical therapist before trying any new activity.
Hip Replacement Surgeon in Hartford and Tolland Counties, CT & Springfield, MA
Your board-certified hip replacement surgeon at Advanced Orthopedics New England will make sure you fully understand what to expect from a hip replacement and give you clear instructions on what to do and things to avoid after your surgery in order to have a successful recovery. Our orthopedic surgeons are trained in minimally invasive hip replacement techniques, which usually means less pain, a faster recovery, and a lower risk of complications for you.
To schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at Advanced Orthopedics New England, call our office today at (860) 728-6740 or use our convenient online request form.