As elective surgeries are reopening, we wanted to talk to you today about hip replacements. Below you’ll find information on what they are, the considerations and how we can help as physical therapist.
A total hip replacement describes a surgical procedure where both sides of the hip joint are replaced by prosthetic devices. Our hip is a ball in socket joint, so imagine a baseball sitting inside of a cup. When there is macro damage—such as a car accident—or micro damage—long term wear and tear—people may opt to perform the surgery to improve function and decrease pain.
After getting a hip replacement, there are 3 main precautions that will be reviewed with the patient. These precautions are necessary to protect the healing site and prevent a potential dislocation.
- Adducted positions – this means bringing your legs together. Patients will be discharged from the hospital with a pillow to wedge between their legs to prevent this motion.
- Internally rotation of the hip – a good example of this would be pivoting and turning TOWARD the surgical hip. For example—if a R hip replacement was performed—you would want to avoid turning to the right and pivoting on your right leg.
- Flexion above 90 degrees – a good example is lifting your knee above your waist line. You will be advised to sit in a higher hair so that you do not risk having your knees above the waist.
As physical therapists, our goals after a total hip replacement are to improve range of motion and progressively strengthening the area. This will consist of an individually tailored plan that fits into the goals of each client. We utilize a combination of exercises such as squats, deadlifts and mobility drills to slowly return you to normal function.
If you want to hear more, feel free to call or email us! We’re currently offering a free 30 minute virtual consultation and would love to chat more!