A New Lease On Life
More than 300,000 men and women get total hip replacement each year. This is a big occasion as the patient will finally have less pain and more mobility. A surgeon can perform a total joint hip replacement for arthritis or a damaged hip. However, surgery is only part of the process. The patient must then go through the proper recovery process, which includes exercise.
It’s time for recovery with exercise
Total hip replacement takes about 3-6 months for a full recovery. This is also dependent on factors like age, weight, and underlying medical conditions. Rest is important, but exercise is a critical part of recovery. This helps the patient get accustomed to the new hip. Exercise also strengthens the surrounding bones and increases flexibility day by day. To give recovery a much-needed boost, try these 4 exercises to help with total hip replacement.
1. Try a hip abduction
Hip abduction exercises help build flexibility. These can be done using a sturdy surface or with a walker. To perform the activity, stand straight using a sturdy object to maintain a good balance. Then slowly move the leg with the hip replacement out to the side. Make sure to move the leg only. Keep the pelvis and torso straight. Bring the leg back to the starting position for 1 rep. Don’t rotate the toes outward. Do the exercise for 10-15 times on each leg, 3 times daily.
2. Get a hip extension
The hip extension provides the same effect but in the opposite direction. Use the same steady surface or walker to maintain balance. Then slowly move the leg backward, as far as possible. Do not bend the torso or pelvis forward. Keep as straight as possible, looking straight ahead. Once the leg is extended, then return to the starting position. Complete the exercise on each leg for 10-15 times, 3 times daily.
3. Standing strong with calf raises
Calf raises strengthen the lower leg and increase the load on the new replacement. When done daily, the exercise improves strength and mobility over the long-term. Stand straight, holding on to a wall or table. The goal is to stand on the tips of the toes for 3-5 seconds. Then repeat this movement for 10-15 times. To improve the effectiveness of the exercise, when coming down, roll the ankle to stand on the heels. Keep alternating from tiptoes to heels.
4. Try some leg raises
Leg raises can improve the strength of the new hip joint. Patients can do the routine in bed. Lay flat on the back with both legs straight. Bend the knee on the non-operated leg. Then slowly raise the leg with the operated hip. Raise the leg as high as possible, keeping the knee and toes straight. Then bring back the leg to rest. Repeat the exercise for 10 reps, 3 times weekly. This is an advanced exercise. Speak to a doctor for further advice.
The key to faster recovery
Total hip replacements can help restore mobility and quality of life. However, the real benefits come out in recovery. By completing these simple exercises consistently, hip replacement patients get stronger and stronger. Try adding these exercises to any recovery regimen outlined by a doctor or physical therapist. For more information about recovery from joint replacement surgery, speak with an orthopedic surgeon.