Exercises After Hip Replacement

Exercises Post Hip Replacement

Heel Slides. Photo © Dr. Laura Inverarity

The rehabilitation process after total hip replacement occurs early in the postoperative period. Most patients start physical therapy the day after their surgery. Early therapeutic exercises help you regain and improve strength around the operative hip. Therapy also helps patients learn to walk on their new joint. Here are the most common exercises done on the road to recovery after a total hip replacement.

Heel Slides
This exercise helps strengthen the quadricep muscles at the hip and the hamstring muscles at the knee. Perform as follows:

  • Sit with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Begin by sliding your heel toward your buttocks by bending your knee. Keep your heel on the ground during this motion.
  • Slowly straighten your knee and slide your leg back to the starting position.
  • Relax and repeat 10 more times.

Straight Leg Raises
Straight leg raises help strengthen the hip joint. Perform as follows:

  • Lay on your back on a flat surface.
  • Bend the knee of your uninvolved leg (the one that wasn't operated on) to a 90-degree angle, and keep your foot flat on the surface. Keep your involved leg straight without the knee bent.
  • Slowly lift the involved leg six inches off the floor (by contracting the front thigh muscles). Hold for five seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg to the floor.
  • Relax and repeat 10 more times.

    Gluteal Sets
    Gluteal sets are easy exercises that help strengthen the gluteal muscles of the hip. Strong gluteal muscles help in hip extension as well as stabilization of the joint. Perform as follows:

    • Lie on your back with your knees bent in a 10- to 15-degree angle.
    • Squeeze your buttock muscles together.
    • Hold for five seconds.
    • Relax.
    • Repeat 10 more times.
    • Perform three sets of 10, three times a day.

    Recall when performing these exercises that some orthopedic surgeons place activity restrictions on patients after surgery. Always adhere to these guidelines.

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