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Pre- and Post-op Exercises and Goals after Hip Replacement
Exercising is important to obtain the best results from total hip surgery. Always consult your physician before starting a home exercise program. You may receive exercises from a physical therapist at an outpatient facility or at home. In either case, you need to participate in an ongoing home exercise program as well. After each therapy session, ask your therapist to recommend changes to your program that will keep you moving towards the goals listed on the next few pages. Follow hip dislocation precautions as described by the therapists.
After two to three days, you should be ready for discharge from the hospital. Most hip replacement patients go directly home, but you may be advised to go to a rehabilitation center for 5-7 days. During weeks one and two of your recovery, typical goals are to:
- Continue with walker or two crutches unless otherwise instructed.
- Walk at least 300 feet with support.
- Climb and descend a flight of stairs (12-14 steps) with a rail once a day.
- Independently sponge bath or shower (after staples are removed) and dress.
- Gradually resume homemaking tasks.
- Do 20 minutes of home exercises twice a day, with or without the therapist, from the program given to you.
Post-operative Exercise Plan
- Anlke Pumps
- Quad Sets
- Gluteal Sets
- Abduction and Adduction
- Heel Slides
- Short Arc Quads
- Long Arc Quads
- Standing Heel / Toe Raises
- Standing Rock Over the Affected Leg
- Standing Mini Squats
- Standing Knee Flexion
Weeks 2-4 will see you gain more independence. Even if you are receiving outpatient therapy, you will need to be very faithful to your home exercise program to be able to achieve the best outcome. Your goals for the period are to:
- Achieve one to two week goals.
- Move from full support to a cane or single crutch as instructed.
- Walk at least one-quarter mile.
- Climb and descend a flight of stairs (12-14 steps) more than once daily.
- Independently shower and dress.
- Resume homemaking tasks.
- Do 20 minutes of home exercises twice a day with or without the therapist.
- Begin driving if you have permission from doctor or therapist.
Weeks 4-6 will see much more recovery to full independence. Your home exercise program will be even more important as you receive less supervised therapy. Your goals are to:
- Achieve one to four week goals.
- Walk with a cane or single crutch.
- Walk one quarter to one half mile.
- Begin progressing on a stair from one foot at a time to regular stair climbing (foot over foot).
- Drive a car (either right or left hip had surgery).
- Continue with home exercise program twice a day.
During weeks 6-12 you should be able to begin resuming all of your activities. Your goals for this time period are to:
- Achieve one to six week goals.
- Walk with no cane or crutch and without a limp.
- Climb and descend stairs in normal fashion (foot over foot).
- Walk one-half to one mile.
- Improve strength to 80%.
- Resume activities including dancing, bowling, and golf.