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What to Expect from Physical Therapy After Your Hip Replacement

June 23, 2018


Physical Therapy After a Hip Replacement

Recovering from a hip replacement can be a long, hard process that usually lasts several months. During this time, you will likely attend outpatient physical therapy to help you get used to your new joint and regain your mobility.


At Haven Physical Therapy, we work with many hip replacement patients. To help you plan for these next few months, we’ve outlined a typical hip replacement recovery.


Surgery Day  

If there are no complications, physical therapy will likely start on the day of surgery. Generally, a hip replacement procedure lasts about 2-3 hours. Once you wake up from the anesthesia, you will likely take medication to help with the pain and prevent infection and blood clots. During this time, you will work with an inpatient physical therapist who will help you get out of bed, walk with your crutches or walker, and go to the bathroom.


One Day After Surgery

One day after surgery, you will still be in the hospital. With the help of a walker or crutches, you should be able to get out of bed without assistance. A physical therapist will visit with you to teach you how to minimize pain and get used to your restricted range-of-motion. You probably won’t be able to do certain movements for several weeks, so it helps to know what’s ahead.


Three Days After Surgery

This is typically the time that you will be discharged from the surgery, but if you have any complications, you may have to stay longer. Before you leave, you should be able to walk to the bathroom and get out of bed without help.


Four Days After Surgery

Now that you are discharged, you will begin outpatient physical therapy. Here, a physical therapist will teach you exercises and stretches that will help you rebuild your strength and improve your range-of-motion. Walking should be a little easier and you will not need as much pain medication, so take this opportunity to move about as much as possible. Regular movement will maintain good blood flow in your legs and prevent blood clots.


One Week After Surgery

As you continue going to your physical therapist, you will see an improvement in your range-of-motion, though you will still need a walker or crutches. Your physical therapist will also give you some exercises to practice at home. Some common exercises include bed-supported knee beds, ankle pumps, and standing hip extensions. Around this time, a doctor will remove your incisions, so you should be able to bathe and shower as normal.


Three Weeks After Surgery

Movement should be much easier during this time. Though you will probably struggle with some movements, you should be less dependent on your walker or crutches. With your improved range-of-motion, you should be able to perform light household activities without assistance and walk greater distances.


Ten Weeks After Surgery and Beyond

By now, you should return completely to normal activities. If everything goes as planned, you can stop attending physical therapy, but you are welcome to keep attending if you are still experiencing any pain. Keep in mind that you should continue stretching and exercising at home even after your recovery ends.


Looking for Outpatient Physical Therapy?

If you are planning on having a hip replacement, contact Haven Physical Therapy today! After your surgery, we work with you to create a specialized treatment plan to help you get back on your feet and regain your mobility. We also offer pre-surgical rehab to help you prepare for your upcoming procedure. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at 417-731-7094!


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