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How to Return to Exercising After Hip Replacement Surgery

How to Return to Exercising After Hip Replacement Surgery

Once you heal from hip replacement surgery, you enjoy benefits like improved range of motion and reduced pain. But, hip replacement surgery can be intensive, leaving you with a substantial recovery to get through before you can fully benefit. So, what should you expect about returning to exercise after hip replacement?

At Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana, Dr. Jeffrey Pearson supports his hip replacement patients from before the surgery through the complete recovery period. Dr. Pearson treats new and existing patients from locations in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana.

Here’s what Dr. Pearson wants you to know about getting back to being active following a hip replacement procedure.

Right after your hip replacement

Dr. Pearson keeps your hip replacement surgery as minimally invasive as possible, often using anterior hip replacement approaches that involve smaller incisions and less muscle damage than traditional techniques.

Before your surgery, Dr. Pearson ensures that you understand the road ahead for your recovery. Your physical therapy starts before your procedure, so that your body is ready to heal up right post-operation.

Following an anterior hip replacement procedure, you may be able to go home from the hospital as soon as that same day.

Starting to heal: physical therapy for hip replacement

Here’s what you can expect in the early portion of your recovery period after hip replacement surgery.

The first six weeks post-operation

For about six weeks after your hip replacement, your focus should be on healing, including wound care. That can include muscle strengthening and balance training.

In this time period, you practice walking — first with, and then without, mobility aids. Your physical therapist supports you in this process, observing to make sure your recovery proceeds smoothly and stays on-track.

The next 6-12 weeks: advancing recovery

As you continue your recovery, your physical therapy goals grow more ambitious. It’s time to get your full strength back, as well as to reclaim your full independence around obstacles like going down the stairs.

After downtime earlier in your recovery period, you likely need to rebuild your endurance before returning to athletics, competitive sports, or intense workouts.

If you follow your post-surgery recovery instructions, you gradually restore your strength and stamina after your hip replacement, so that when it's time to consider returning to exercise, you're ready to go!

3-6 months post-surgery: ramping up exercise routines

As you meet your physical therapy goals, it’s time to start talking to Dr. Pearson about your return to normal exercise and activity levels. Dr. Pearson may use X-rays to check up on your healing progress before giving you the OK to get back to intensive exercise.

Studies show that if you were active in a particular sport before your hip replacement, you’re more likely to have success returning to that activity.

Low-impact sports like swimming, hiking, cycling, tennis, and golf tend to be accessible after hip replacement surgery. 

High-impact sports with contact and fall risks, like running, jumping, basketball, or soccer, can be more challenging after a hip replacement procedure, and Dr. Pearson may recommend that you continue to avoid these activities so as not to damage your new hip.

For all the information you need about what happens after hip replacement, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Pearson. Call Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana today, or request an appointment online now.

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