Westcoast SCI’s Comprehensive Guide for Total Hip Replacement Recovery

by Jun 23, 2023Health and Wellness, Physiotherapy

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Achieve Full Recovery from Total Hip Replacement Surgery 

A comprehensive exercise guide for those who have undergone total hip replacement surgery is crucial to achieve full recovery, as it helps to restore strength and mobility to the hip joint. Your orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapist may advise you to engage in daily exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day during the early recovery phase and recommend specific exercises to perform.

This guide aims to provide a better understanding of your exercise and activity program, supervised by your physical therapist and orthopaedic surgeon. However, before attempting any of the exercises shown, it is essential to consult with your therapist or surgeon to ensure a safe recovery.

elderly couple help with standing

Why do I need to do exercises after Total Hip Replacement?

During the early postoperative phase, performing certain exercises can increase circulation to your legs and feet, prevent blood clots, strengthen your muscles, and improve hip movement. It is recommended to begin doing these exercises as soon as possible, even in the recovery room after surgery. Although you may experience discomfort initially, these exercises can enhance your recovery and ultimately reduce postoperative pain.
After surgery, you will require assistance while standing, but as you regain strength, you will be able to stand independently. While doing these standing exercises, it is essential to hold onto a firm surface like a bar attached to your bed or a wall.

What are the benefits of early activity after Total Hip Replacement?

Early activity aids in your recovery and helps your hip regain its strength and movement. Walking is the best way to help your hip recover, initially with a walker or crutches. Your surgeon or therapist will guide you on how much weight to put on your leg while walking. As your muscle strength and endurance improve, you can gradually put more weight on your leg, and you may spend more time walking.

What kind of exercises should I do after Total Hip Replacement?

Stair climbing is an excellent strengthening and endurance activity, and it also requires flexibility. At first, you will need a handrail for support and will be able to go only one step at a time. As you become stronger and more mobile, you can begin to climb stairs foot over foot.
The pain from your hip problems before surgery and the pain and swelling after surgery have weakened your hip muscles. A full recovery will take many months, and it will take time for your muscles to recondition and get used to your new hip that moves freely. The exercises and activities recommended in this guide will help your hip muscles recover fully.

It is recommended to do these exercises 4 times a day with 10 repetitions each. Place one end of the tubing around the ankle of your operated leg and attach the opposite end of the tubing to a stationary object like a locked door or heavy furniture. Hold onto a chair or bar for balance.

Riding an exercise bike is an excellent activity to help you regain muscle strength and hip mobility. Start with pedalling backwards and gradually increase tension. Walk with a cane until you have regained your balance skills. You can also walk on a treadmill if you are concerned about walking outside on uneven ground. Regular walks of 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week, will help maintain your strength once you have fully recovered.

Need personalized help with Total Hip Replacement Recovery?
Book an appointment with our Physiotherapists in Port Coquitlam!