Many people associate hip operations with the elderly, but sometimes many years of active sports and exercise can cause hip joints to weaken, and in some rare cases, hip replacement is the only option. Fortunately, good rehab and recovery can see a person return to full strength. Keen runners and skiers are most prone to hip degeneration and injury, and in most cases they return to their sport – it is not uncommon for fit people to get hip replacements. Here we look at the recovery process.
The importance of physiotherapy after any type of hip operation cannot be ignored; this is vital to guarantee you recovery, with physiotherapy techniques helping you in terms of strengthening your hips, improving function, enhancing mobility and ensuring that pain is alleviated. A lot of people have a tendency to simply rely on painkillers so that the pain goes away, yet this is simply a quick fix and it does not help the recovery process whatsoever. It may ease the pain, but it won’t help you to get proper movement back, which is so important after an operation, as surgical procedures can often leave people feeling stiff. Instead, physiotherapy involves using drug-free approaches that will ensure the recovery phase is a success.
Specialist physiotherapists will use a wide assortment of treatments to ensure you get back to your best, depending on the operation you have had and how severe it was, including the likes of strengthening exercises, dry needling, joint mobilisation, flexibility exercises, balance exercises, postural exercises, massage, ice and heat application, electrotherapy and much more. They will also tell you everything you need to know about managing your condition effectively at home so that it does not get worse, as self-care is an imperative part of the recovery process as well, which is why it is so important to follow the advice that is provided to you by your therapists.
For serious hip injuries in the elderly, you should look into care options. You generally have two options here; a care centre or live-in care. You can read this piece on why to choose live in care for more details. A live in carer can provide assistance for you if you’ve undergone a hip procedure and cannot care for your self.
Post Dislocation Rehab
If you have undergone surgical hip dislocation, your doctor will have advised you to seek on-going physiotherapy, as this is essential in ensuring you recover properly. Unfortunately, after such a surgery, the recovery process has only just been started, and by ignoring the rehabilitation phase you could cause yourself significant damage.
When you book an appointment with a physio surgery, one of their experienced physiotherapists will carry out a full diagnosis. Of course, they know that you have just had a surgical dislocation, but everyone reacts differently to such a surgery, and thus they need to fully understand your symptoms and your condition so we can provide you with the most effective course of treatment so you get back to your best in no time. Through your physiotherapy sessions, you can expect the pain to be alleviated and you will be able to return to normal function as quickly as possible, as it is likely that you are feeling a bit stiff and your movement will be limited at present.
Physios use a vast assortment of different techniques when putting your rehabilitation programme together; this includes the likes of electrotherapy, joint mobilisation, massage, strengthening exercises, postural exercises, flexibility exercises and much more.
Hip Replacement Recovery Exercises
Some exercises you may need to do at home include straight leg raises, bed-support knee bends, ankle rotations, ankle pumps, stair climbing and descending, and buttock contractions.
Standing Hip Abduction
- Stand straight beside a steady object like a table or chair, use the object to maintain balance
- Move your operated leg out to the side, without lifting your pelvis. Keep your toes pointed forward
- Return your foot to the floor and repeat ten times. Do three sets a day.
- Whilst standing, face a steady object like the back of a chair or a bench, take hold of it to maintain your balance
- Gently lift your leg behind you, keeping both your leg and back straight and looking directly ahead of you
- Don’t worry about how far it goes, just make sure you’re comfortable. Return your foot to the floor and repeat ten times. Do three sets a day.
Standing Calf Raise
- Stand in front of a table and hold on to help keep your balance
- Go up and down slowly on your tiptoes ten times. Do three sets a day.
- Raise your knee to the level of your hip, forming a 90 degree angle at the hip, or as close to it as you can manage comfortably
- Drop your knee and lower your foot to floor. Repeat 10 times. Do three sets a day
- Don’t raise your hip above 90 degrees until your physio or surgeon tell you otherwise.
At the beginning of the treatment phase, they will explain everything to you in full detail and they will give you a realistic timescale for your recovery while also providing you with all of the education and advice you need to manage your condition effectively at home too. Please make sure you follow the instructions that are provided from the therapist regarding self-care, as this is an imperative part of the recovery process.
You can rest assured that you are in safe hands when you choose a physio with care. Ensure all of their therapists boast the necessary training and qualifications, with many years of experience in their locker. They will do all they can to make sure you feel comfortable and at ease throughout the rehabilitation period.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the process that is involved when it comes to getting back to your best after a hip surgery.