Rehabilitation After Surgery
One of the critical success factors for a positive outcome is following
the physical rehabilitation process. In order to help achieve the goals
for a successful hip resurfacing procedure, you must actively participate
in the rehab process and work diligently on your own, as well as with
the physical therapists, to achieve optimal results.
Your recovery program usually begins the day after surgery. The rehabilitation
team will work together to provide the care and encouragement needed during
the first few days after surgery.
You may be given a device called an incentive
spirometer that you inhale and exhale into. It measures your lung capacity
and assists you in taking deep breaths. These exercises reduce the collection
of fluid in the lungs after surgery, preventing the risk of pneumonia. Coughing
is an effective tool for loosening any congestion that may build in the lungs
The physical therapist will begin as early as 1-2 days after surgery.
They will teach you some simple exercises to be done in bed that
will strengthen the muscles in the hip and lower extremity. These
exercises may include:
Sets: Tighten and relax the buttock muscles.
Sets: Tighten and relax the thigh muscles.
Pumps: Flex and extend the ankles.
Your physical therapist will also teach you proper techniques
to perform such simple tasks as:
up and down in bed.
from lying to sitting.
from sitting to standing.
from standing to sitting.
from sitting to lying.
Although these are simple activities, you must learn to do them safely
so that the hip does not dislocate or suffer other injury.
Another important goal for early physical therapy is for you
to learn to walk safely with an appropriate assistive device
(usually a walker or crutches). Your surgeon will determine how
much weight you can bear on your new hip, and your therapist
will teach you the proper techniques for walking on level surfaces
and stairs with the assistive device. Improper use of the assistive
device raises the chance for accident or injury.
therapist will also visit with you to teach you how to perform
activities of daily living safely. They will provide you with
a list of hip precautions which are designed to protect your
new hip during the first 8-12 weeks following surgery.
not bend forward to reach your feet. You must maintain a 90 degree angle
between your torso and legs.
not lift your knee higher than your hip on the operated side.
not cross your legs.
not allow your legs to internally rotate (feet turned in).
not twist while lying or standing.
on your back with a pillow between your knees to prevent crossing.
observe your weight bearing precautions during standing or walking.
Also, the occupational therapist will instruct you in the proper use of
various long-handled devices for activities of daily living. These devices
may include the following:
reacher to dress and pick things up from the floor.
sock-aid that will assist in putting on socks.
long-handled sponge to wash your legs and feet.
leg-lifting device to move the operated leg in and out of the car or bed.
elevated toilet seat so that you don’t violate your hip precautions
when using the bathroom.
elevated bathtub chair to fit in the shower or tub.
Following surgery, a physical therapist may help you with your rehabilitation
protocol. In addition to the exercises done with the therapist, you should
continue to work on the hip exercises in your free time. It is also important
to continue to walk on a regular basis to further strengthen your hip muscles.
An exercise and walking program helps to enhance your recovery from surgery
and helps make activities of daily living easier to manage.
Here is a list of potential exercises that you may be asked to perform
(If an exercise is causing pain that is lasting, reduce the number of repetitions.
If the pain continues, contact your physical therapist or physician):
While at home, you will continue to walk with the assistive device unless
directed by your surgeon to discontinue use. You must also remember to strictly
follow the hip precautions and weight bearing instructions during the first
few months following surgery. It is recommended that you not drive unless
you have been approved by your doctor.
Life After Hip Resurfacing Surgery
After you have completed your hip rehabilitation, you should experience
improved range of motion and have strength in your hip to return to most
everyday activities. Below are a few warnings to keep in mind after your
hip resurfacing surgery. Remember to listen to what your body tells you.
If you begin to have pain or swelling, contact your physician for advice.
care to protect your new hip from too much stress and follow your surgeon’s
instructions regarding activity level.
not perform high impact activities such as running and jumping during the
first year following your surgery to allow your hip bones to heal properly.
While that same study of 2,385 BIRMINGHAM HIP resurfacing patients found
that less than one-half of one-percent of patients experienced a femoral
neck fracture in the first five years after surgery, the average time this
fracture took place was just two and a half months after their surgery.
Other studies have shown a fracture rate of up to 1.4-percent.
device failure, such as breakage or loosening, may occur if you do not follow
your surgeon’s limitations on activity level. Early failure may occur
if you do not protect your hip from overloading due to activity level or
fail to control your body weight. Accidents such as falls may also cause
early device failure.