Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement Surgery: The Complete Guide

Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement Surgery The Complete Guide

If you need physical therapy after hip replacement surgery, call Comprehensive Healthcare Group at (516) 764-7760. Same-day appointments may be available.

What should you expect from physical therapy after hip replacement surgery? The unknowns pile up, creating a source of anxiety. Like most people, you value your mobility.

You might also fear more pain and discomfort. A Harvard Health Publishing article by Robert H. Shmerling M.D. states that 330,000 hip replacements occur yearly in the U.S., so you are not alone. As providers of Oceanside’s physical therapy services, we want to give you an idea of what to expect. 

What to Know About Your Hip Replacement

Since your surgery didn’t result in incisions in your muscle tissue, you should easily get the hang of life after hip replacement surgery. While it will alter your daily activities for a while, you can still do other things to increase your mobility. Below, you’ll discover areas where you should exercise caution and activities physical therapists encourage. 

What to Avoid

During the first month of healing, you should steer clear of the following:

  • Extreme or intense movement, such as quick, aggressive turns or running
  • Twisting your knees to shift your body
  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Floors covered in obstacles to navigate
  • Small rugs
  • Icy weather

These situations can cause hip pain or result in a fall. Avoid them unless otherwise instructed by your physical therapist

What to Do

While you might feel restricted by the list of “don’ts,” you can still enjoy other typical activities, such as:

  • Bending at a 90° angle
  • Crossing your legs when you sit
  • Sleeping on the side that hosts the replacement hip
  • Walking for a few minutes at a time to improve blood circulation

The activities you can do will grow as your condition improves with recovery. 

Helpful Equipment

After your surgery, you may need special equipment to help with mobility until you completely heal. Some items that might benefit you include:

  • Handrails on each staircase 
  • Flat shoes
  • Shower benches
  • Cushions for any hard seating
  • Reachers and dressing sticks to pick up items from the floor

As you progress with physical therapy, your range of motion should improve. Thus, you may not need these items eventually.

A Comprehensive Exercise Program

Our physical therapy sessions begin with easy exercises that slowly accelerate to advanced ones. Ask your physical therapist’s opinion before trying these at home to ensure your safety. This exercise program can help increase your range of motion and mobility with minimal pain or discomfort. 

Easy Exercises

Below, you’ll find a few exercises you might expect during your first physical therapy sessions:

  • Ankle pumps: Simply move your feet up and down while at rest.
  • Knee bends: While lying down, move your foot toward your body. Keep your foot flat and your leg balanced as your knee bends. Then, slide your foot back away from your body. Repeat. 
  • Straight leg raises: Flex your thigh and lift your leg while keeping it straight. Keep your leg suspended for up to ten seconds. 
  • Walking: Use a walker for support while you walk. Go for five-minute walks up to four times daily or as ordered by your physical therapist. 

Moderate Exercises

You may experience some of the more challenging exercises later in recovery. They might look like this:

  • Standing knee raises: Bend your leg at the knee and lift your leg upward until level with your hip. 
  • Hip extensions: Move your leg backward slowly until it is slightly lifted from the ground. 
  • Hip abductions: Keep your whole leg and body lined up straight. Move your leg out toward the side of your body. 
  • Stair ascent and descent: Let your unoperated hip and leg lead as you ascend stairs. Balance with a handrail. 

Advanced Exercises

Once you are on your way to full recovery, your physical therapist might ask you to do advanced exercises. This help build balance and endurance with flexible tubing equipment. 

  • Resistive hip abduction: With the tubing attached to your operated leg, stand sideways from where your tubing is attached. Pull your leg outward and back. 
  • Resistive hip extension: Face the point at which you’ve attached the tubing. Move your leg backward before returning it to its original position. 
  • Exercycling: Your physical therapist may recommend exercycling at this point in recovery. Follow their specific seat and speed guidelines to ensure your safety. 
  • Walking: Walk up to three times daily for 20-minute spans. 

How New York Physical Therapy Can Help

Remember, healing with physical therapy after hip replacement surgery is a marathon. The Arthritis Foundation states that 90% of people with moderate pain before their surgeries experienced a significant reduction within five years. Of patients with severe pain pre-surgery, 78% reported little to no pain five years after their operation. New York Physical therapy might help you achieve similar success. 

Contact Comprehensive Healthcare Group for Physical Therapy in Oceanside, NY

Physical Therapy in Oceanside NY

In 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association reported that New York state has 89 licensed physical therapists per 100,000 people. With those numbers, you want physical therapy sessions located conveniently close to home with compassionate therapists driven to help you. You should consider scheduling an appointment with Comprehensive Healthcare Group for physical therapy in Oceanside, NY.

As comprehensive physical therapy services providers, we don’t just do physical therapy after hip replacement surgery. You can also see a physical therapist for knee pain and other mobility issues. Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Call us at (516) 764-7760

FAQs About Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement Surgery

How long does it take to walk normally after hip surgery? 

It may take as few as three weeks or two to three months to walk normally after hip surgery.

How many weeks of PT are needed after hip replacement?

Patients usually need eight weeks of physical therapy after hip replacement.

What is the fastest way to recover from a hip replacement?

The fastest way to recover from a hip replacement is to put mobility and health first. Attend physical therapy before surgery to enhance your understanding of exercises and movement. Use postoperative physical therapy as a tool to reclaim mobility and heal.