Why is physical therapy after a total hip replacement surgery important?

Regaining your range of motion and strength after total hip replacement surgery is critical to regaining your ability to do the things that are important to you. You will start the following exercise program very soon after your surgery. Your physical therapist will help you with the exercises initially and you will be expected to continue the exercises as instructed. As you recover, some exercises will be discontinued and others may be added. Please let your therapist or surgeon know if you are having difficulty with your exercises.

Circulation Exercise: Ankle Pumps

Lie on your back. Gently point and pull ankle of your surgical leg by pumping foot up and down.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 1 set every hour that you are awake and continue until you have returned to your normal level of activity.

Ankle Pumps

Ankle Pumps

Circulation Exercise: Quadriceps Sets

Lie on your back with your legs straight. Tighten your thigh muscle by pushing your knee down into the bed. Do NOT hold your breath.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 2 sets a day.

Quadriceps Sets

Quadriceps Sets

Circulation Exercise: Gluteal Sets (buttock)

Lie on your back with your legs straight. Squeeze buttock together and tighten buttocks muscles. Do NOT hold your breath.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 2 sets a day.

Gluteal Sets

Gluteal Sets

Heel Slides

Lie on your back. Bend your surgical knee by sliding your heel toward your buttocks.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 2 sets a day.

You may be instructed to pull on a bed sheet hooked around your foot to help you slide your heel.

Heel Slides

Heel Slides

Short Arc Quads

Lie on your back with a towel rolled under your knee. Slowly straighten your surgical knee by lifting your foot up while keeping your thigh on the roll.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 2 sets a day.

Short Arc Quads

Short Arc Quads

Sitting Knee Flexion

Sit with a towel under your surgical leg(s). Your feet should be flat on the floor. Slide one foot back, bending your surgical knee. Hold for 5 seconds, then slide your foot forward.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 2 sets a day.

Sitting Knee Flexion

Sitting Knee Flexion

Seated Knee Extension

Straighten your surgical leg.

  • Repeat 10 times (1 set).
  • Do 2 sets a day.

Seated Knee Extension

Seated Knee Extension

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/15/2016.

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