Rehab Exercises To Expect After A Hip Replacement
After a hip replacement, the weeks and months after surgery will be critical to minimize complications and to reclaim your functionality. There are various types of exercises you will need to do in the earlier stages after a hip replacement.
In the days following a hip replacement, most of your exercise will be limited. Your physical therapist will come in and do passive range of motion exercises and instruct you on ways to strengthen your leg after surgery. Simple exercises, such as leg lifts, and flexing your leg at the knee can prevent stiffness after surgery and will help circulate the blood in your lower body to prevent blood clots. Although exercises from bed may not significantly strengthen the muscles in your lower body, they can prevent muscle atrophy as you recover.
Walking is important in your recovery after a hip replacement. Shortly after surgery, you will start walking with assistance from a walker. The goal is to take small steps with assistance. Since your hip is a weight-bearing joint, short walks can help with strengthening the joint. You may only be allowed to walk for a few minutes at a time shortly after surgery. As you grow stronger and experience less pain, members of your care team will help you walk around the hospital. Once you are taking longer walks and do not need the walker to support your weight, you can transition to using a cane or similar assistive device, which are meant for a little support but are not intended to support much weight.
Once you are moving around regularly, you can begin standing exercises, which will do more to aid in your recovery. You can hold on to the back of a chair or use the wall for support and perform a range of motion exercises or practice putting more weight on your new joint. At this point, you will probably go to see your physical therapist regularly since they have specialized equipment available. Your therapist might have you perform certain weight-bearing exercises while using the parallel bars for support. This can include practicing your walking so your gait is closer to normal or stooping down once you are in less pain. Peddling on a stationary bike is another type of exercise that is good for strengthening your legs, especially your hip, without placing too much stress on the joint.
The orthopedic rehabilitation process after a hip replacement can make a difference in how well your replacement works. Strengthening the hip and surrounding muscles is key to have less pain and better function after surgery.