Physio Rehabilitation Post-Hip Replacement

Post Hip Replacement Physio | Your Story Physiotherapy

Have you recently undergone hip replacement surgery and are now looking for ways to aid in your recovery process? Physiotherapy rehabilitation post-hip replacement surgery can play a crucial role in helping you regain strength, mobility, and function in your hip joint.

Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure for individuals suffering from severe hip pain and limited mobility. While the surgery itself can alleviate pain and improve mobility, the rehabilitation process is essential for achieving optimal outcomes and preventing complications.

Whether you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery or have recently undergone the procedure, understanding the role of physiotherapy in your recovery can be instrumental in achieving a successful outcome.


What is a hip replacement?

A hip replacement is a surgical procedure where the worn-out or damaged hip joint is replaced with artificial parts. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that connects your leg to your pelvis. The ball is the head of your femur (thigh bone), and the socket is in your pelvic bone.

Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure that can help relieve pain and stiffness in the hip. It is usually done to treat osteoarthritis, but it can also be used to treat other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, a fracture of the hip, a tumour or avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply).


The 2 main types of hip replacement surgery

  • Total hip replacement: In this type of surgery, both the ball and socket of the hip joint are replaced with artificial implants.


  • Partial hip replacement: In this type of surgery, only the ball of the hip joint is replaced.

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What to expect in physiotherapy post-hip replacement

Physiotherapy is crucial after hip replacement surgery to regain mobility, strength, and flexibility in the hip and surrounding areas. A qualified physiotherapist will design a personalised rehabilitation program that progresses gradually, considering your individual needs and recovery pace.

Here’s a general breakdown of what to expect in physiotherapy post-hip replacement:

Early Stage (1-6 weeks)

  • Pain management and swelling reduction: Techniques like ice application (cryotherapy) and soft tissue massage can be used.


  • Regaining basic movements: Exercises will focus on simple movements like ankle pumps, leg slides, and gentle hip stretches to improve circulation and prevent blood clots.


  • Walking practice: You’ll be gradually introduced to walking with a walker or crutches, focusing on proper gait mechanics and weight-bearing as instructed by your physiotherapist.


Intermediate Stage (6-12 weeks)

  • Strengthening exercises: Exercises will target major muscle groups around the hip joint to improve strength and stability. These may include leg lifts, bridges, and hip abduction exercises with therabands or weights. We will gradually introduce you to other safe strengthening exercises in the gym under the supervision of a physio.


  • Balance and coordination training: Activities will challenge your balance and coordination to restore confidence during daily movements.


  • Increased walking: Gradually aiming for longer walking distances with improved endurance.


Advanced Stage (12+ weeks)

  • Functional exercises: Exercises will mimic everyday activities like stair climbing and squatting to ensure a safe and smooth return to your daily routine.


  • Low-impact exercises: Activities like stationary cycling, swimming, or elliptical training can be introduced to improve cardiovascular health and overall fitness.


Tips to optimise your physiotherapy rehabilitation 

  • Active participation: Actively participate in your physiotherapy sessions and ask questions if you have any concerns.


  • Regular exercise: Perform your prescribed exercises regularly at home, as instructed by your physiotherapist.


  • Pain management: Inform your physiotherapist about any pain you experience during exercises. They can adjust the program accordingly.


  • Patience: Recovery takes time. Be patient and consistent with your physiotherapy program to achieve the best possible outcome.


How long does it take to recover from a hip replacement?

The majority of people who undergo hip replacement surgery return home the same day or the next. A full recovery can take up to a year, but most patients feel much better after 2-3 months. You should be able to drive and engage in other similar activities within 4-6 weeks of your treatment.


What happens if you don’t do physio after hip replacement?

You have a limited amount of time immediately following surgery to restore the range of motion in your new joint. If you do not move and engage in physiotherapy, scar tissue forms, restricting movement and weakening your muscles.

Overall, neglecting physiotherapy can significantly hinder your recovery and limit the long-term benefits of your hip replacement surgery.

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Final thoughts

Hip replacement surgery is usually a very successful operation. Most people who have hip replacement surgery experience a significant improvement in their pain and mobility.

Physio rehabilitation post-hip replacement is essential for a successful recovery and regaining mobility.

By following a tailored exercise program, working closely with a physiotherapist, and staying committed to the process, you can get back to living your life to the fullest.

Remember, patience and persistence are key in this journey to a stronger, healthier you. So keep moving forward and never give up on your road to recovery!


Book a Free Phone Assessment today, and one of our experienced physiotherapists will tailor a rehabilitation program to fit your needs.