EXERCISING AFTER HIP REPLACEMENT
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
The healing process following a hip fracture can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. A major concern is DISLOCATION OF THE PROSTHESIS. For this reason certain activities should be avoided during that healing process until your doctor tells you otherwise. Be aware that there are many different types of hip-replacement procedures and only your doctor knows the type of surgery performed. Your doctor is the best one to advise you on your exercise precautions.
Here are some general precautions to AVOID:
• Crossing the legs.
• Internal rotation of the leg and hip.
• Bringing the leg beyond 90 degrees in the knee to chest position.
After the 12 week healing process your doctor will prescribe a gentle set of exercises to retrain the muscle in your leg because strong muscles stabilize the joints. The program he or she prescribes will probably look like this:
Concentrate on strengthening the following muscles:
• Quadriceps on the front of the upper leg
• Abductors that move the leg away from the body
• Adductors that move the leg toward the center of the body
• Hamstrings on the back of the upper leg
• Gluteal muscles that you sit on
• Ankle circles should be done to increase circulation to the legs, lubricate the ankle joint, and work the muscles of the lower leg
Perform each exercise slowly, gently, and with thought. Above all, listen to your body! No pain no gain is NOT the motto for exercising after a hip replacement. Take it slow, with gentle progressions and before you know it you’ll be back on your feet!!