Hip Rehabilitation at the Georgia Orthopedic Institute
Physical Therapy After a Hip Replacement Is Key to Recovery
After hip replacement surgery, physical therapy plays an important role
in your recovery.
Once your surgery and brief stay in the recovery room are completed, you
will be brought to the orthopedic floor for the remainder of your hospital stay.
Depending on what time you arrive on the orthopedic floor, a physical therapist
may attempt to perform an initial evaluation of your strength and mobility
on the day of surgery. Once therapy begins you will be asked to perform
exercises to strengthen your muscles and promote early mobility.
Goals will be established for you to work towards greater independence
and mobility. You will also learn which positions are appropriate for
your recovering hip/leg and which positions should be avoided.
Physical Therapy Sessions
On the day after your surgery and for the remainder of your stay, you can
expect to undergo physical therapy twice a day. Emphasis will be placed
on safely getting in and out of bed, standing and transferring from the
bed to a chair, and performing activities of daily living.
You will learn to walk with the most appropriate assistive device, usually
a walker. During each session of therapy you will work on increasing the
distance that you can safely walk while decreasing the amount of help
needed to do so.
When not actively participating in your therapy sessions, it will be very
important to spend time sitting up in a chair next to your bedside. This
will help to prevent complications, such as pneumonia, skin breakdown
due to lying in one position for too long and other problems which occur
due to limited mobility.
Importance of Exercise
The exercises prescribed for you will play an important role in strengthening
the muscles around your hip joint.
These exercises are also crucial in promoting improved circulation in order
to avoid potential complications such as blood clots, or "Deep Vein
You can expect to perform these exercises on a daily basis for weeks after
your surgery. Throughout your recovery period, your therapists may modify
Your therapist will ask specific questions about your home environment
and will help you address architectural barriers you may have, such as
stairs, in order to prepare you for a safe return home. A walker will
be provided for you to use during your stay and the physical therapist
will work closely with the case management team to address any equipment
you may need when you leave the hospital.
In some situations, you may also receive occupational therapy to improve
your ability to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming,
dressing and other self-care tasks. We will teach you about adaptive equipment
that can be used to help you with these tasks.
Many patients leave the hospital and return home, with therapy provided
from a home-health agency. However, in some cases, patients may not be
quite ready to return home once the doctor releases them from the hospital.
In these situations, your case manager works closely with you, your physician,
nurse, therapists, and your family to make arrangements for the most appropriate
discharge plan in order to provide the care you need to return home safely.
Working As a Team
At Southern Regional, we believe that the more our patients know about
their rehabilitation, the better prepared they will be to work toward
a successful recovery. Education and active patient participation both
play a vital role in successful rehabilitation.
Patients and family members are encouraged to ask questions of their healthcare
team. Family members and caregivers are also encouraged to participate
in the rehabilitation process.