Exercises After Hip Surgery
Although it sounds incredibly invasive, thousands of people choose to have hip surgery or full hip replacements each and every year. Common causes of hip issues include arthritis, serious falls or athletic injuries, and medication and assistance with walking will only get you so far. While hip replacement surgery is invasive and takes a significant amount of rehabilitation time, it could make the difference between a sedentary future and the ability to remain active and enjoy the things you are most passionate about. But after you’ve had hip surgery, you will have to build your strength back up to normal, while helping the healing process. You won’t be able to hop out of bed and run a marathon, but if you approach things properly you’ll be back on your feet and pain-free in a short amount of time. Here are just a few exercises to help strengthen your hips after surgery.
One of the best things you can do for your surgically repaired hip is walk. Walking is a simple rehabilitation that you will be able to start almost immediately. In fact, in some cases patients can begin short walking regimens the very next day after their surgery. Start with a walker if you need assistance, but that simple, everyday movement will make all the rest of your rehabilitation work that much easier. Don’t push yourself too quickly. Just go with a slow and steady pace, and you’ll be in great shape.
Ankle pumps are another excellent strengthening activity, approved by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. You’ll do this sitting down, and all it really requires is pushing your foot down and up at the ankle. Do this very slowly, with your legs raised at least even with your hips. It prevents the formation of blood clots, as it pushes blood up and through the hip area, and will also help increase your range of motion after surgery. This is another exercise you’ll be able to begin almost immediately, and you should do a set of the ankle pumps a few times each day.
Once you feel up to it, try doing some knee extensions. For this exercise you’ll want to be sitting up, in a fairly firm chair. Start with your legs bent at the knee then straighten your knee, holding your legs out in front of you. Do one leg at a time, and hold each one out straight for five full seconds. Then bend the knee in towards your body, as far as it will go, and hold that for five more seconds. Rest, and then repeat. Use slow, deliberate motions so you don’t hyperextend your knee. Remember, returning to a normal range of motion is the key, and you don’t want to risk any further injuries.
At this point, you should be ready to try out full hip extensions. Hip extensions are an important hurdle in hip surgery, and will help you heal properly. Start standing up, and focus on the hip that actually had the surgical procedure. Lift your leg and bend it backwards at the hip, keeping your back completely straight. Go very slowly, and hold your leg in the bent position for about three seconds. You can do this four times each and every day, to increase the flow of blood through the affected area.