For a patient who suffers chronic hip pain, hip replacement is one of the best options for a better life. While people prefer jumping back to their life immediately after getting the surgery done, it is advisable to take it slow and step-by-step. Starting with vigorous exercises after a replacement might cause more problems.
There are a number of exercises that can help regain the strength and mobility followed by surgery. But with the newly replaced joint, the person is advised to avoid positioning their body at certain angles. Too much impact is also to be taken care of if any.
Why is exercise important?
The hip replacement surgery aims to provide relief to a person suffering from debilitating pain and problems in performing their daily activities, often related to arthritis damage. They receive artificial joints that help them in their movement and reduce the pain. The main objective of the surgery is to relieve the pain and restore joint movement.
After the procedure is done, the patient’s mobility will be limited in the beginning. Surgeons advise that a 20 to 30 minutes exercise two or three times a day should be implemented once the patient is strong enough.
At least for the first 6 weeks after the surgery, the patient needs to use a crutch to walk around. This is to not push the limits and avoid putting in extra pressure on the newly replaced joints. After these initial weeks, a physiotherapy rehab is advised to the patient which helps them in regaining their full strength and improves endurance. After about three to six months of the surgery, the patients usually return to their daily physical activities.
Machines that need to be avoided after Hip Replacement
Although the doctor will guide you towards the exercises you can do after the surgery, there are a couple of exercises and machines that a person needs to avoid after getting a hip replacement. Staying away from exercise bikes, treadmills and all gym equipment for at least first six weeks after surgery is a mandatory protocol.
With the new hip joint, the person is advised to avoid bending their body in certain positions and heavy impact needs to be avoided. Therefore, it is important that one needs to be aware of workouts you cannot do and the machines to avoid.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises a golden rule to not bring the knees higher than your hips and to not lean forward while you are sitting. Knowing this, rules out a couple of exercises in the gym.
Exercise machines that need to be avoided after a hip replacement are the inner thigh adductor, which strains the hips when you push inwards. The inner thigh adductor machine doesn’t make the use your adductor muscles the way they would be used within a natural gait. Instead, these machines put pressure on the thighs.
Exercises You Should Do Instead
As regaining the strength, certain exercises can be very helpful:
Move 1: Ankle Pump
Lie on your back during the entire set.
Pushing the put up or down, moving your foot at the ankle level also.
This exercise can be done on the bed, so prefer doing it every 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
Move 2: Straight-Leg Raises
Lie on your back throughout.
Tighten the thigh muscle while lifting the affected leg up a few inches.
Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly lower the leg.
Repeat until your thigh muscle feels fatigued.
Ankle pumps and straight-leg raises help the muscles regain strength. They also keep the blood flow appropriate right after the surgery. Once that the person is able to stand up without support, he or she should progress to the following exercises:
Move 1: Standing Knee Raises
Stand straight with your feet a shoulder-width distance.
Keeping a chair in front to hold for support is a must.
Lifting the leg towards the chest, keeping in mind that it is not supposed to be lifted above the waist.
Hold for two to three seconds, and lower slowly
Repeat 10 times per set and 2-3 times in the day.
Move 2: Standing Hip Extensions
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.
Keep a chair in front to hold the back for support.
Raise your affected leg backward, keeping the back straight.
Hold for two to three seconds before slowly returning the foot to the floor.
Repeat 10 times per set.
Should be repeated 2-3 times in the day.
Once that the patient is ready, they can start with a number of exercises. The person can also start swimming, given that it is a great low-impact workout.
The success rate and the hip replacement surgery cost in India usually depends on the factors –
Age of the patient
Type of the medical condition that led to the hip replacement
Care and precautions taken after the surgery