If you have recently undergone total hip replacement surgery to alleviate pain, improve mobility, or both, you are not alone. According to a study published by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, an estimated 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed every year in America. And in the majority of cases, the success rate associated with these surgical procedures is quite high, with more than 95 percent of patients experiencing significant pain relief and improved mobility. Even after 20 years, 80 to 85 percent of former patients were reportedly still happy with the results of their surgery, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health. It is important to note that the high success rate associated with total hip replacement surgery has a lot to do with post-surgery physical therapy, which helps speed up healing, reduce post-surgery pain, and improve mobility even further.
WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICAL THERAPY IS NEEDED AFTER TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
In most cases, once an individual has undergone hip replacement surgery and has regained some of their strength, they will start in-home or outpatient physical therapy sessions with a licensed physical therapist. And these therapists will outline a course of treatment that meets their unique needs. Whether an individual chooses at-home or outpatient physical therapy, the primary objective should be the same, which is to get back to feeling like themselves as soon as possible. That being said, outpatient physical therapy does have a slight advantage over in-home physical therapy in that individuals are will have access to a large selection of exercise equipment that will enable them to target specific muscle groups.
WHAT EXERCISES WILL A PHYSICAL THERAPIST INSTRUCT PATIENTS TO DO FOLLOWING SURGERY?
If a patient chooses to undergo physical therapy at an outpatient facility, the physical therapist that they are working with will instruct them on how to use the facility’s exercise equipment to increase the range of motion in their new hip. They will also guide them on specific weight-bearing exercises that can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip as well. It is also not uncommon for these practitioners to use heat or ice therapy to reduce any swelling or soreness that a patient might be experiencing post-surgery or in-between physical therapy sessions. If a patient chooses to complete physical therapy at home following hip replacement surgery, a licensed physical therapist will guide them on how to perform body weight exercises that can help strengthen their hip. Some of these exercises include
- Ankle pumps
- Ankle rotations
- Standing knee raises
- Standing hip abductions
- Standing hip extensions
- Buttock contractions
- Bed-supported knee bends
LEARNING TO HOW TO WALK WITH A NEW HIP
When a patient no longer needs to use crutches or a walker to support themselves, many physical therapists will teach patients how to walk so that the muscles surrounding their new hip become stronger. And this includes advising them on how much weight they should be putting on their legs while walking.
All in all, physical therapy plays an important role in recovering from hip replacement surgery. And performing physical therapy exercises as directed by a licensed physical therapist can go a long way toward ensuring you get the most out of your new hip.
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