Total Hip Replacement: What to Expect from Physio?

Here at Physio Performance Drogheda, a total Hip Replacement is one of the main surgeries we deal with here in our clinic on a weekly basis.

A lot of the time we are actually involved in the process before the actual surgery.

A hip replacement can be a tough ordeal for anyone, but physiotherapy can be a massive help when it comes down to our preparation, and our recovery!

Left: pre-operative radiograph of a right hip with severe degenerative... | Download Scientific Diagram

Pre-Op

Good preparation for surgery can be a major benefit to any patient who is due to undergo a hip replacement. It is key when undertaking the decision to undergo surgery, that the patient is fully educated on what exactly is involved in the surgery and especially the duration of the recovery period and the level of commitment involved in the rehabilitation period post surgery.

Once the decision has been made to undergo the hip replacement, building strength in the affected leg is a key priority before the surgery. The greater the level of strength in the affected leg pre-surgery, the less muscle mass/strength lost while immobilised post-surgery.

 

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Post-Op

In the early stages post-surgery, the focus of rehabilitation will be to help reduce the symptoms of the surgery, managing pain and swelling as much as possible through gentle range of motion exercises and manual therapy techniques.

By training to increase range of motion at the hip we are also aiming to improve functionality in daily activities. Being able to apply pressure and weight bearing on the new hip joint is essential and the earlier this can be tolerated the better for the patient and clinical outcomes.

 

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Return to Walking

A reintroduction to weight bearing activities such as walking and building strength, going from sit-to-stand will also be seen in the early stages post surgery. While walking/movement may still be aided by a crutch/cane, in this phase we are beginning to build the capacity in our hip to be able to move confidently and independently of any aids.

Once we have become independent of walking aids and daily activities/tasks begin to become easier, we can begin to become more aggressive in our strengthening programme. While this can be a difficult task, strengthening exercises are a long term process and consistency is key to achieving a successful outcome.

While the early stages focus on range of motion and basic strength, in this stage the strength will be more focused on stability and function of the musculature around the hip, and can include external resistance such as kettlebells and dumbbells.

The Best 6 Post-Op Exercises After a Hip Replacement | Performance Health

Long Term Recovery 

While strength is a priority, recovery and rest are also important aspects in this stage. While we need to work and stress the muscles of the hip  in order to see increases in strength and endurance, it is key to manage the strength training workload in order to allow time for muscle fatigue to dissipate. Without recovery days/sessions, we also remove the ability of the muscle to adapt and allow strength increases in the desired areas.

The usual recovery times for a hip replacement can range anywhere from 6-12 months, and this is highly dependent on the consistency of the patient during the rehabilitation process. While total recovery can take a minimum of 6-8 months, usually daily activities can be resumed to some extent within 4-6 weeks of surgery.


The Physio Performance Way:

We are the specialists here in the Drogheda area dealing with Total Hip Replacements.

We can guide you right through the whole journey: From initial diagnosis to a full recovery post surgery.

A rehabilitation program will be customised for you to help you regain the motion in your hip and help you build a more confident and stronger hip.

Next step: 

Want to get in touch with our team?

Looking for some advice?

We’d Love to Help!

You can contact us on 041-9877059 or at info@physioperformance.ie. You can also book an appointment online with us HERE.

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