Following hip surgery, it is important to do regular exercise as part of your recovery. In addition to strengthening muscles and increasing the mobility of your hip, they will also increase blood flow to your legs and feet, which prevents the development of blood clots. Dr. Samimi recommends that you exercise 2 or 3 times each day for 20 to 30 minutes. Below are some exercises that should benefit you after your surgery. Though you may experience some mild pain upon beginning these exercises, you should persist unless the pain in moderate or high.
Early Postoperative Exercises
To start, lie on your back with your legs separated slightly.
Immediately after surgery, you can begin ankle pumps. To perform this exercise, simply push your foot upwards and downwards. You can do this exercise as often as you would like.
You can also immediately start ankle rotations, which requires moving the ankle inward and outward. Repeat this motion 5 times in each direction.
Bed-Supported Knee Bends
To do bed-supported knee bends, lean against your bed and slide your heel up toward your bottom. Be careful not to roll your knee inward. Repeat this motion 10 times.
Buttock contractions require that you simply contract your buttocks muscle and relax them. Repeat 10 times.
Push your leg outward and bring it back in. Repeat 10 times.
Contract your thigh muscles and attempt to straight your knee. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Straight Leg Raises
Straighten your knee and then tighten the thigh muscle. Then raise your leg up several inches. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds. Lower your legs slowly, and repeat the motion until your thigh is fatigued.
Once you are able to stand, you can begin standing exercises. Though you will likely experience dizziness upon standing, this should subside as you get used to standing again.
Standing Knee Raises
Raise your affected leg toward your chest, but do not raise your knee above your waist. Hold for 2 or 3 seconds, and then lower your leg. Repeat 10 times.
Standing Hip Abduction
With your legs pointing forward and your posture straight, raise your leg to the side and slowly lower it. Repeat 10 times.
Standing Hip Extensions
Slowly raise your affected leg backward while keeping it as straight as you can. Hold for 3 seconds, and lower it. Repeat 10 times.
Walking and Early Activity
Once you are able to walk around, your hip muscles will start to regain their strength. At this point, you can facilitate your recovery with some walking exercises.
Stair Climbing and Descending
Using a handrail for support, go up and down stairs, just one stair at a time. While climbing stairs, always lead with your unaffected leg, and while descending stairs, always lead with your affected leg. A good way to remember this is: “up with the good” and “down with the bad.” You may want to have someone help you until you have regained most of your strength and mobility. Stair climbing will increase your strength and endurance.
Advanced Exercises and Activities
Though a full recovery can take several months, as you regain your strength, you can partake in more advanced activities. Each activity below should be done 3 times a day and each time, you should do 10 repetitions. These exercises require tubing attached to your affected leg and a heavy stationary object. You will also want to hold onto something for support.
Resistive Hip Flexion
Lift your affect leg forward while maintaining a straight leg, and return it to its original position.
Resistive Hip Abduction
Lift your affected leg outward to the side, and return it to its original position.
Resistive Hip Extensions
Lift your affected leg backward, and return it to its original position.
Cycling can increase your strength and the mobility of the hip. Ensure that the setting on your bike allows your leg to straight almost all the way. Try pedaling backwards first, and once this becomes comfortable, start pedaling forward. As this exercise becomes more and more comfortable, you can increase the resistance on the bike and increase the time you spend on the bike, up to about 30 minutes twice a day.
Start walking 5-10 minutes a few times each day. In the beginning, you should use a cane. As you recover, you can walk for longer bouts of time and without the cane