Ask anyone who has had a hip replacement about recovery, and they are sure to say, “Stick with the recovery exercises!” Although they may be difficult at first, hip replacement recovery exercises are crucial to healing your joint. Exercising after hip replacements will help restore your strength and mobility, ensuring you are able to make the most of your new hip for years to come.
After surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will recommend physical therapy. In addition, they may recommend that you do hip replacement exercises at home tailored to your recovery. Generally, it is suggested that these exercises are completed 2-3 times a day for 20-30 minutes. If you have any questions about your individual recovery plan, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Here are five examples of postoperative exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home.
(If you’re further along in your recovery, check out our tips for golfing after surgery.)
Hip replacement exercises to aid in recovery
- Isometric glute squeezes – This is one of the best hip replacement recovery exercises to start with post-surgery. To begin, lay down on your back with your legs straight. Without moving any joints, simply tighten your glutes, hold for five seconds and release. Repeat 10-15 times. These isometric movements, in which the muscle and joint don’t contract or move, are helpful for maintaining your strength while recovering.
- Ankle pumps – This hip replacement recovery exercise works the lower leg muscles while improving blood circulation. To begin, lie on your back and extend your legs. If that feels uncomfortable, prop a rolled towel or blanket under your legs to keep them lifted. Flex your foot by pushing your heel away from you and toes towards you. Keep flexed for five seconds. Then, reverse the move by pointing your toes away from your body. Hold the point for 5 seconds. Start at the beginning and repeat.
- Leg lifts – Start by standing with a walker or holding onto a counter. Raise your leg out to the side, keeping hips facing forward and standing tall. In addition, be sure your toes stay pointed forward, not out to the side. Lift and lower your leg 10-15 times. Then, repeat on the other side. It’s just as important for your recovering hip to practice bearing weight as it is to complete the movement.
- Sitting kicks – Sit down in a sturdy chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground. Lift one leg straight out, aiming to bring your leg parallel to the floor. Hold for five seconds, keeping your leg straight and your knee level. Lower your leg and repeat with the other leg. Complete 10 reps on each side.
- Knee raises – Stand behind and hold on to a chair or a walker. Without bumping your knee, lift your knee toward your chest while standing straight. Don’t lift your knee higher than your waist. Keep your knee raised for three seconds, then lower down. Complete 10 times, then repeat on the other side.
Exercise leads to a healthier you!
After a hip replacement, our goal at the Kennedy Center is to get you back to your active lifestyle. With these hip replacement recovery exercises, you’ll be on your way to healthier recovery.
To learn more about how the orthopedic surgeons at The Kennedy Center can help you live a pain-free life, give us a call today.