Regaining Mobility: Total Hip Replacements and Essential Exercises for Recovery 

Introduction: 

Total hip replacement surgery has revolutionized the treatment of hip joint degeneration, offering renewed mobility and freedom from debilitating pain. This blog aims to delve into the intricacies of total hip replacements, while also highlighting crucial exercises essential for a successful recovery journey. 

Understanding Total Hip Replacements: 

Undergoing total hip replacement (THR) surgery is a significant step towards relieving pain and restoring function for individuals with hip joint issues. However, the road to full recovery doesn’t end in the operating room. Engaging in a carefully curated set of exercises is crucial to ensure a successful rehabilitation process and to regain optimal mobility. In this blog, we’ll explore a range of effective total hip replacement exercises designed to help you regain strength, flexibility, and overall joint function. 

Common Hip Motion Precautions: 

Protecting the range of motion of the newly replaced hip is crucial for preventing dislocation and ensuring a stable joint. Common hip motion precautions include: 

  • Avoiding Hip Flexion Beyond 90 Degrees: Patients are often advised to avoid activities that involve excessive bending at the hip, such as sitting on low chairs or deep squatting. 
  • No Crossing Legs: Crossing the legs at the knees should be avoided to prevent twisting or stressing the hip joint. 
  • External Rotation Precautions: Some surgeons recommend avoiding excessive outward rotation of the hip, which may involve keeping the toes pointed forward when walking or using caution while turning. 

Essential Exercises for Total Hip Replacement Recovery: 

Seated Knee Extensions: 

  • Sit on a sturdy chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. 
  • Extend one leg straight out in front of you, lifting your foot slightly off the ground. 
  • Hold for a few seconds, engaging your quadriceps, and then lower your foot back 
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 2xday. 

Partial Squats:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding onto a stable surface for support. 
  • Slowly lower your body by bending your knees, keeping your back straight. 
  • Aim for a partial squat, going down only as far as feels comfortable. 
  • Push through your heels to return to the starting position. 
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 2xday. 

Clamshells:

  • Lie on your unaffected side with your knees bent and hips stacked. 
  • Keeping your feet together, open your top knee as far as comfortable, then close it back down. 
  • Aim for a slow and controlled movement, focusing on engaging the muscles of the hip. 
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side, 2xday. 
  • Clamshells target the muscles of the hip and buttocks, aiding in hip stability and function. 

Side-Lying Hip Abduction:

  • Lie on your unaffected side with your bottom leg bent for stability. 
  • Slowly lift your top leg towards the ceiling, keeping it straight. 
  • Hold for 3 seconds at the top, then lower back down. 
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side, 2xday 
  • This exercise targets the muscles on the side of the hip, improving strength and control for walking and standing. 

Bridges:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent. 
  • Lift your hips up as high as you can, feel the contraction in your glutes. 
  • Hold for 3 seconds at the top then slowly lower down. 
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps, 2xday. 

Hip Extension: 

  • Stand facing a counter or sturdy surface for support. 
  • Keeping your back straight, slowly extend your surgical leg straight back behind you. 
  • Hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position. 
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 2xday. 
  • Hip extension exercises help strengthen the muscles in the back of the hip, supporting proper posture and movement. 

Standing Hip Abduction: 

  • Stand next to a chair or wall for support. 
  • Lift your surgical leg out to the side, keeping it straight. 
  • Hold for 3 seconds, then lower back down. 
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side, 2xday. 
  • Standing hip abduction helps improve hip strength and stability, essential for walking and balance. 
  • Stationary Cycling: Start with a slow and controlled pedal motion to improve circulation and gradually increase intensity as your hip strengthens. 
  • Water Aerobics: The buoyancy of water reduces the impact on your joints, making it an excellent option for cardiovascular exercise without putting excessive strain on your hip. 

Please note to follow these exercises at your discretion. All hip replacements are different, and some have precautions that you should be mindful of. Please consult your doctor or physiotherapist regarding safety of these exercises: 

What our physiotherapists can do for you: 

  1. Manual Therapy / Stretching: Our physiotherapists are all trained in evidence based manual therapy techniques that can help aid you through your recovery quicker. Manual therapy is designed to help with increasing range of motion and decreasing pain and stiffness. 
  1. Prescribing Exercises: As mentioned above, exercises are the key to a proper hip replacement recovery. Our physiotherapists all specialize in prescribing and modifying exercises to make your journey easier. 

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, total hip replacement surgery offers a renewed lease on life for individuals suffering from hip joint degeneration. Our physiotherapists at Revere Physiotherapy have a combined 10+ years working at hospitals around the lower mainland and specialize in total hip replacement rehabilitation. Remember, always consult with your healthcare team before starting any exercise regimen to ensure it aligns with your individual recovery needs. 

Reach out to us at info@reverephysio.com with questions regarding your recovery! 

We also offer free 10 minute consultations to help you determine fit. Call us at 604-566-5108 and we will set you up with one of our expert physiotherapists.  

Book an appointment right away if you feel ready to do so! 

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