What to Expect from Physical Therapy After Hip Surgery

What to Expect from Physical Therapy After Hip Surgery

Hip surgery is a big deal, especially when you have a joint replacement. Physical therapy is a vital part of your recovery, and knowing what to expect before you have the surgery is the best way to approach your therapy sessions.

When you need hip surgery, Dr. Nabil Ebraheim and his University of Toledo Physicians team provide efficient and specialized care. Dr. Ebraheim has years of experience in hip surgery and guides you through the process, from the procedure to the physical therapy during your recovery.

Understanding physical therapy

Physical therapy is a treatment Dr. Ebraheim uses in many settings, including orthopedics. It involves combined therapies to help you regain strength and flexibility after surgical procedures, like a hip replacement.

The main goal of physical therapy is to improve function in your body. The specific area, such as your hip, is targeted during your sessions to improve pain and restore mobility.

There are various treatment modalities that our team uses to help you heal after hip surgery. They include heat or ice, massage, and stretching. Our team also uses tissue manipulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation during your recovery.

In addition, a physical therapist teaches you how to use assistive devices after surgery. With hip surgery, this includes a walker or cane.

Physical therapy after hip surgery

After you have hip surgery, early movement is key to preventing blood clots and scar tissue from forming in your hip. Dr. Ebraheim discusses your post-op recovery with you before your procedure.

You’ll begin physical therapy soon after your procedure. The earlier you begin to move, the less stiff you’ll be as your body begins to heal. 

Your physical therapy sessions start slowly, with limited movement and light range of motion exercises performed by our therapist. They use passive movement exercises along with heat and massage to stimulate blood flow to your new hip.

As the weeks go by, you’ll begin to do more at your physical therapy appointments. Our therapist keeps a close eye on your progress, and gradually adds in new exercises and stretches. The slow progression helps you regain strength and flexibility in your hip.

Exercises that help

After hip surgery, you want to take the time to follow the exercises given by your physical therapist. These exercises help you avoid blood clots in the days after your procedure, and help improve range of motion and mobility in your hip.

Some of the exercises that Dr. Ebraheim recommends after hip surgery include:

Ankle pumps

Ankle pumps are started as soon as you’re able to do them. Our team shows you how to pump your ankles by pushing your feet up and down while lying. Ankle pumps improve circulation and help you avoid blood clots.

Heel slides

You perform heel slides by bending your knee and sliding your heel back to your buttocks. This exercise helps improve motion and strength in the operative hip.

Gluteal sets

Glute exercises improve circulation to your buttocks and hips. While lying down, straighten your legs flat on the ground. Then, tighten your buttock muscles by squeezing them. Hold this for a few seconds, but remember not to hold your breath during the exercise.

Seated knee extension

Perform this exercise while sitting in a chair. Extend one of your legs and hold it, and relax back down. This exercise improves your range of motion and flexibility in your hip.

Straight leg raises

When lying down, tighten your leg muscles and raise one leg off the bed at a time. Hold your leg up for 10 seconds and rest it back down. Repeat this exercise several times to strengthen your hip joint.

Your physical therapist creates a plan for the progression of your exercises. Dr. Ebraheim checks in on your progress as you’re healing to ensure your recovery is going smoothly.

To find out more about our physical therapy program, call our office at 419-383-3761, or request an appointment online today. You can also learn more about hip surgery on our YouTube channel.

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