Top 5 Exercises after Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery is a frequently performed and highly successful surgical intervention. It is mostly performed to improve pain and function in people with advanced arthritis of the hip joint. This surgery involves replacing the damaged or worn-out hip joint with an artificial one. The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the body and is important for mobility and gait. Therefore, this procedure can be life changing for people who suffer with hip pain and loss of function.

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and comprises of two bones the thighbone (Femur) and pelvis which is made up of three bones (ilium, ischium, and pubis). The femoral head makes up the ball of the hip joint while the socket is made by the acetabulum. The acetabulum (Socket) deepens the joint with the addition of ligaments, cartilage and muscles which keep the joint stable.

Osteoarthritis accounts for 90% of procedures in the UK whereas fractures account for 5%, other conditions such as bone death and shallow hip sockets make up the remaining 5%. The average age for a first hip replacement in the UK is 69 years with women having a higher rate of undergoing this procedure. Surgery involves making an incision in the hip joint and replacing the worn-out damaged surface of the hip with an artificial joint implant. The implant is made of metal, plastic, or ceramic and has good outcomes lasting many years.

One of the most important parts of your surgery is the rehabilitation process, although hip replacements are largely successful it is essential that good quality rehab is commenced. At Surrey Physio we see dozens of patients each month after surgery and guide them through their rehab process ensuring quicker return to functional activities. Recovery is different for each person, and it may take a while before you feel back to normal.

Surrey Physio offers a tailored care plan, working closely with your consultant and GP to ensure a rounded approach. We provide in-depth examinations and track your progress, giving you confidence to meet your goals. Our sessions will combine hands on treatment, supervised exercises, and education regarding your recent surgery. We have our own very successful rehabilitation programme taking you from 2-weeks post-surgery to full functional return-to-play.

If you have recently had a hip replacement and are looking for your next steps, please get into contact. In the meantime, please click on the videos to see some of our best exercises to do for your hip replacement. This is not an exhaustive list, and there is much more we do in person, or on video, but this should get you going:

1. Hip Flexion Side-Lying

Lie on your side and bend your top hip as close to your chest as feels comfortable. Return to the start position. Your bottom leg can be straight or bent, whichever is more comfortable. This exercise will mobilise and strengthen your hip joint.

Try 12 – 20 reps, three times per day

2. Glute Strengthening

Lie on your side, keep your top leg straight, and move your hip behind you. If it's more comfortable, you can hold your bottom knee to provide added support. This exercise predominantly strengthens your gluteal (buttock) muscles and stretches your hip flexor in the front of your thigh.

Try 12 – 20 reps, three times per day

3. Hip Mobilisation

Lie face down on a bed or the floor, and let your foot drop out to the side. Repeat as necessary. This is a great mobility exercise for your hip joint.

Try 12 – 20 reps, three times per day

4. Adductor Strengthening

Lie down, and bend your knees so your feet are flat on a bed or the floor. Squeeze a pilates ball between your knees. If you don't have a pilates ball, you can use a football or medicine ball. You will feel the pressure on the insides of your thighs. This exercise is a strengthening exercise for the adductor muscle group.

Try 12 – 20 reps, hold for 2-5 seconds, three times per day

5. Gluteus Medius Strengthening Part 5

Lie on your side on a bed or floor, with your bottom leg straight, and your top leg flexed to 90 degrees and supported by two pillows to keep alignment with your pelvis. Lift your leg 1-2cm off the pillow. You can hold this position or move your leg up and down. This exercise predominantly strengthens your outer hip and gluteal (buttock) muscles.

Try 12 – 20 reps, three times per day

Hip replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure for patients suffering from severe hip pain and mobility issues. It is a safe and effective surgery that can significantly improve your quality of life. If you are considering hip replacement surgery, talk to your physio or our team prior to having surgery.

(Therapists reading this page, these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises If you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).