Starting Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement
Artificial joints aren’t as uncommon as you might think. According to doctors at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, around 7 million Americans have an artificial hip or knee. Many of these are older adults. About 7% of people over 50 have had a complete replacement surgery – and that number doesn’t even include those with partial artificial joints!
If you or a loved one have had hip replacement, or will be undergoing the surgery in the future, you’re not alone. At Santé, we have helped many patients recover after joint replacement surgeries. Our physical therapists will help you start to regain movement and mobility as the first step of your journey.
When to Begin
Your doctor and your surgical team will help advise you on the best course of treatment during your recovery. Many hip replacement patients begin physical therapy shortly after their surgery, while others may be advised to wait a longer period – especially if there were complications during the procedure. Once your recovery has begun and your hospital stay has ended, you can transition to a post-acute care facility such as Santé. Here, orthopedic specialists will help you get mobile early in the recovery process. Your unique, doctor-prescribed physical therapy plan is designed to continue any progress you’ve made with in-hospital therapy.
How Long Will My Recovery Take?
There’s no set timeline for recovering after hip replacement surgery. While Santé believes in starting physical therapy as soon as possible, we treat each patient as an individual. Some patients are up and moving in weeks, while others take can take months for initial healing to occur. Mayo Clinic directs hip replacement patients to schedule a follow-up visit 6-12 weeks after surgery, but cautions that recovery of movement and strength may take up to a year longer. No matter what your body’s timetable for recovery is, we are here to aid you through the physical therapy process.
What Physical Therapy Entails
Regular exercise after hip replacement surgery can help patients regain mobility more quickly and with greater ease. Physical therapy may begin as soon as one or two days after surgery, with your doctor’s approval. It typically starts slow, with seated exercises such as ankle rotations, slowly progressing up to walking with assistance. As you transition from the hospital to a post-acute care facility, your amount of daily physical activity will increase. Recovery involves progressively difficult exercises. As you regain strength and mobility, the duration and intensity of your physical therapy increases. Walking without help, stair climbing, and standing hip exercises are among the activities patients may do later in the recovery process.
If you or a loved one are having hip replacement surgery, contact Santé today at 480-563-2402 or connect with us online to schedule a visit. Our caring and dedicated staff will work with you to create an individualized physical therapy program to aid in your recovery. Our goal is to help you regain mobility and independence so that you can get back to the activities and events you enjoy.