Physical Therapy & Post-Surgical Recovery for Hip Injuries

May 19, 2021

Michelle Bogert

by Michelle Bogert
PT, DPT | Paradise Valley Location

When you’ve had any type of hip surgery, the best way to get back to the activities you love is to keep up with your rehabilitation and hip strength exercise program. Physical therapy will help ease pain and swelling and bring you closer to recovery.

Recovery after hip surgery usually takes around four weeks. However, some people may have more extended recovery periods due to advanced age, activity level before surgery, or co-existing health conditions.

Foothills Physical Therapist helps strengthen the hip muscles of patient

Why is rehabilitation post-surgery key to making the most progress as soon as possible?

  • Altered gait mechanics before surgery require patients to re-learn how to walk correctly. Gait is a person’s pattern of walking. Walking involves balance and coordination of muscles so that the body is propelled forward in a rhythm, called stride. There are numerous possibilities that may cause an abnormal gait.
  • Altered lower extremity alignment before surgery, now corrected after surgery, can cause patients to have new lumbar, knee, foot, or ankle issues. Alignment refers to how the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles relate and line up with each other. Proper alignment of the body puts less stress on the spine and helps you have good posture.
  • To correct balance deficiencies that are expected after any surgery.
  • Appropriate exercise prescription post-surgery is needed to reduce the likelihood of tendonitis conditions.

Following hip surgery, patients may experience the following:

  • Muscle tightness and weakness from chronic underlying arthritis
  • Severe hip flexor and adductor loss of flexibility
  • Poor mechanics from compensated gait and bending/stooping movements

3 Key Goals of Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement or Another Hip Surgery

  1. Help you regain the strength of the muscles surrounding your hip
  2. Improve your gait (walking)
  3. Guide you to a full recovery

In addition to the work you put in at your physical therapy appointments, your therapist will prescribe exercises for you to do at home as well.

If you are seeking or are scheduled for a surgical hip procedure, don’t wait to seek a pre- and post- physical therapy consultation. Contact a Foothills physical therapist for a free injury assessment. Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy provides a variety of services to patients all across the valley. Our philosophy is that every person is different, so every person needs an individual, specialized therapy plan to be successful. Our highly skilled staff can even provide you with a free assessment of your needs. Our philosophy is that a “good enough” recovery is just not good enough. We have a Full Recovery Focus™, and our goal is to help our patients get their full, healthy life back.

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