Testing to Ensure Proper Rehabilitation for Hip Replacement Patients

Rehabilitation after hip replacement is an essential step to recovery. Most patients undergo surgery because they are limited in activities they once enjoyed. Often times the pain that was present prior to surgery resolves quickly after surgery if proper steps are taken to recover.

Post-Operative Guidelines According to Approach

After surgery you may experience pain free mobility due to the joint replacement. Although, it is important to remember that the muscles and soft tissue surrounding the new joint require stretching, strengthening, and manual techniques to facilitate healing.

Coming to physical therapy you will be evaluated during your initial visit to determine which exercises and stretches are appropriate for you. This will be based upon testing your range of motion, strength, and functional activity. Once the testing is complete, the physical therapist will review movement precautions, range of motion, and basic strengthening exercises with you.

With time your range of motion and strength will improve. Once these improvements are made, therapeutic exercises will be progressed and the functional tasks, that you want to return to, will be emphasized.

One last essential to a successful recovery is incorporating a walking program, regular exercise regime, manual technique, and adequate rest.

Depending on the type of procedure you undergo, your surgeon may instruct you to avoid specific motions while the prosthesis is healing. Below is a description of what to avoid according the surgical approach:

Anterior Approach:

  • Hyperextension of surgical leg
    • Moving your leg behind you (i.e. stepping backwards)
  • ​External rotation
    • Turning leg outwards (i.e. when attempting to tie shoe laces/put on socks

Posterior Approach:

  • Flexion > 90 deg
    • Do NOT sit in a low chair
    • Do NOT bend forward to touch your toes
  • Internal rotation
    • Do NOT cross surgical leg over opposite leg
  • Adduction
    • Put a pillow between knees
    • Do NOT lay on surgical side

Disclaimer: If you continue to experience unbearable, reoccurring pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with your physician or join our physical therapy family and allow us to help you regain function.

Iron Health is located in Briarcliff Manor and the greater Westchester NY area; our neighboring towns include Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Tarrytown, Irvington and Pleasantville.

If you have any questions, fill out a Discovery Session form and we will contact you as soon as possible.