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Hip Rehabilitation

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 Thrombosis" (DVT).

You can expect to perform these exercises on a daily basis for weeks after your surgery. Throughout your recovery period, your therapists may modify these exercises.

Returning Home

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.