You are regaining your range of motion and strength after total hip replacement; surgical treatment is crucial to regaining your daily activities. The following post-op exercises after hip replacement should be started very soon after your surgical operation. Initially, your physical therapist will help you with these exercises, and you’ll be expected to continue the activities as instructed. As you get better, your therapist might discontinue a few exercises, and others may be added. Please allow your therapist or health practitioner to know if you are having a problem with your exercises.
Following are the post-op exercises after hip replacement.
MUSCLE PUMPING EXERCISE FOR BLOOD CIRCULATION
- Ankle pumps
Lie on your back. Gently point and pull the ankle of your surgical leg by pumping your foot up and down. The exercise must also be carried out ten times every hour simultaneously as you’re awake.
- Thigh squeezes
Lie on your back with both your legs straight. You have to tighten your thigh muscle by pushing your knee down into the bed. Do NOT hold your breath and repeat the exercise 10 times (1 set); also, do 2 sets a day.
- Buttock squeezes
Tighten your buttocks muscles and squeeze the muscles together. You have to hold for 5 seconds and relax.
Heel Slides(Hip and Knee flexion)
Lie on your back. You should bend your surgical knee by slowly sliding your heel toward your buttocks and repeat 10 times (1 set) and do 2 sets a day.
The therapist may advise you to pull on a bed sheet hooked around your foot to help you slide your heel.
Slide your operated leg out to the side, keeping your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling. You have to slide your leg back to the starting position. You may need to use a plastic bag under your heel to assist it to slide easier.
Sitting Knee Flexion
Sit on the side of your mattress or sturdy chair. Straighten your knee. Maintain this position for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your leg down and relax and repeat 10 times (1 set); also, do 2 sets a day.
Seated Knee Extension
Straighten your operated leg and repeat 10 times (1 set); also, do 2 sets a day.
Straight leg raises (SLR)
Bend your non-surgical leg with your foot flat on the mattress. Tighten your thigh muscles and raise your surgical leg (about 12 inches), keeping your knee straight. Work up to holding for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your leg down and relax.
How often: 5 times a day
Walking helps you to build strength and endurance. Walk around your own home five times a day. Trips to the restroom or kitchen aren’t sufficient.
Progressively increase the distance you walk. Work up to walking outdoor and inside the community.
Remember that every person has different pre-surgical treatment levels of fitness. Communicate with your physical therapist about walking if you have additional medical conditions.
It is vital to reduce your swelling down after a surgical operation. You will be able to do that by doing the following activities.
- Lying flat and elevate your leg at the level of your heart for at least 20 minutes.
- Placing a cold pack on your hip 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
- Actively pumping your muscle tissues through ankle pumps
- Balancing activity with rest
Routine exercise to restore mobility and strength to your hip and a progressively return to everyday activities are vital for your full recovery after hip replacement.