Total hip replacement is one of the most common surgical procedures performed. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, 193,000 procedures are done annually. The primary goal of the surgery is to decrease or eliminate pain so that you can get on with living your life. You can enhance your recovery process and eliminate your apprehension about further injury by exercising properly. Knowing proper stretches to do and what to avoid will ease your mind and reduce your risk of injury.
Getting your joint moving again is key to a successful recovery. On the same day of or a day after surgery, when enough of the anesthetic has worn off and a physical therapist is ready to assist you, you will probably be encouraged to stand and walk a few steps with a walker or crutches. One of the important benefits of movement after surgery is to increase blood flow, which reduces the risk of blood clots.
Once you return home from your hip replacement surgery, you will be given more exercises to improve your hip strength and mobility. A physical or occupational therapist will recommend a program of exercises and show you how to move properly to stay within any movement restrictions you have, after your hip replacement. Your success with rehabilitation largely depends on your commitment to follow the exercise program developed by your therapists. Physical activity also increases balance, stretches tendons and muscles, and strengthens muscles as your recovery progresses. These hip exercises may include:
- Ankle pumps and circles
- Thigh squeezes
- Buttocks Squeezes
- Leg slides
- Heel slide
While these exercises and stretches may seem pretty easy or low-key to some, the goal is to ease your hip back into working order, while avoiding re-injury. Proper stretching before and after exercise is an integral part of the recovery process, helping to loosen up muscles and tendons, and also keeping scar tissue from building up. To others, the idea of stretching and exercises may seem new and daunting, but just remember that the therapist is your guide, and can help you along the way.
To learn more about exercises you can do to rehab you hip after hip replacement surgery, call Orthopaedic Associates at (440) 892-1440 to request an appointment.