Hip Replacement Rehabilitation
Whether your hip joint replacement is done as an open surgical procedure or minimally invasive hip arthroscopy, hip surgery rehab will be required. Typically, hip surgery rehab goes much more quickly following arthroscopy.
In either case, rehabilitation is designed to rebuild muscle and restore range of motion to get you back to a normal level of activity and mobility as quickly as possible.
Time is of the Essence
Hip surgery rehab begins almost immediately. It is highly likely you will be getting out of bed (with assistance) the day after your hip replacement surgery. That’s because there is a small window of opportunity after surgery – usually a few weeks, although it varies from person to person – in which you have to restore the range of motion in your new hip or face stiffness and reduced range of motion.
Starting Hip Surgery Rehab
Your first hip surgery rehab session typically happens the day after surgery, while you’re still in the hospital. Your therapist will help you up and encourage you to walk with your new joint. The type of surgery you’ve had will determine how much weight you can put on your hip.
Your rehabilitation may include exercises you can do in bed every hour to avoid blood clots, such as tightening your thighs, squeezing your buttocks or pointing your feet up and down.
Long-Term Hip Surgery Rehab
After surgery, you’ll want to get home and experience your new hip without the old hip arthritis pain. This is when you begin another phase of rehabilitation. Throughout this extended phase of rehab, you’ll learn how to get in and out of your car and the bathtub without bending greater than 90 degrees at the hip. You will also learn new ways to do ordinary things like tie your shoes.
Your physical therapist can suggest devices to help you, such as a shower seat, a raised toilet seat and a long-handled shoehorn.
It’s natural to feel some degree of pain and stiffness after hip replacement surgery. An important aspect of rehab is using therapies that diminish the pain to allow you to walk and exercise. Your physical therapist might also recommend exercising in a pool to build strength and flexibility without the pain of putting a lot of weight on your hip.