Category Archives: Hip

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Broken Femur?

By  aenriquez  published  November 22, 2017

Recover From A Broken FemurA femur fracture is a crack, break or crush injury to the thigh bone. Smaller, simpler fractures of the femur do not typically require surgery. However, others that completely break the bone, cause the bone to be crushed or displaced need immediate surgery.

Symptoms of a femur fracture

A fracture in the thigh bone can bring about the following symptoms:

  • Inability to stand or move the leg
  • Swelling in the hip region
  • Bleeding from an open wound
  • Deformity of the thigh bone region
  • Hematoma
  • Thigh muscle spasms
  • Tingling or numbness in the leg

Diagnosing the condition

This is a serious injury that is usually diagnosed by a physician. The physician will look for symptoms of a fracture mentioned above along with the help of an X-ray or CT scan.

Based on the nature of the injury, treatment may involve immediate admission to the hospital for surgery or extensive treatment in a rehabilitation facility.

Recovery times

Because the femur is so strong, it often takes a lot of force to break it.

  • The cause is usually some type of high energy collisions such as a car or motorcycle accident.
  • A severe sports injury could also have the effect for athletes of young people.
  • Even a low force incident such as a fall can cause a broken femur in individuals with weak bones.
  • In the elderly, broken femur may be caused by a slip or fall.

Most people who receive specialized treatment for a femur fracture are admitted in a long-term nursing or rehabilitation facility.

Full recovery can take anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months. Yet, many patients can start walking much earlier with the help of a physical therapist.

In case of surgery, recovery times can vary based on the following considerations:

  • Timing of surgery will depend on if the skin around the fracture is broken or not. Open fractures expose the injury site to the environment and need to be treated immediately.
  • External fixation requires metal screws or pins to be placed into the bone. For patients who need temporary stability before the final surgery, this can add to the recovery times.
  • Intramedullary nailing means inserting a specially designed metal rod to keep the nail and bone in proper position during healing.

How is physical therapy helpful?

Physical therapists design individual treatment plans for every patient. The program is devised to limit broken femur complications and includes exercises that help the patients resume a normal level of activity.

Physical therapy can be helpful by addressing the following issues after injury or surgery:

  • Reduction in pain levels by using heat or ice therapy
  • Resuming motion in the hip, leg and back with exercise and stretching
  • Improving strength with exercise to tone and firm muscles
  • Stabilizing balance using weights, resistance bands or other devices
  • Regaining walking ability
  • Speed up healing
  • Return to daily activities by deciding on recovery goals and the safest methods to achieve them
  • Prevent future re-injury by engineering a home exercise program to strengthen and stretch muscles around the injured area
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Rehab Exercises after Total Hip Replacement

By  aenriquez  published  August 16, 2017

After a total hip replacement (THR), you must do hip and leg-strengthening exercises every day. These exercises are used to increase muscle flexibility, improve hip strength, and promote healing by increasing blood flow.


Exercise Program

A regular exercise program is used to strengthen weak leg and hip muscles. Your success with rehabilitation relies on your willingness to follow the exercise program developed by your physical therapist. You should perform these exercises 2-3 times each day after surgery. Each exercise must be done 10 times, starting out, and you gradually increase the repetitions by 5 times each week until you reach 20 repetitions. Your schedule will be:

  • Week 1 – 10 repetitions
  • Week 2 – 15 repetitions
  • Week 3 – 20 repetitions

Thigh Squeezes (Quadriceps)

The quadriceps muscles are located at the front aspect of the thigh. These muscles support and control the hip joint.

  • Lie on back with legs straight out.
  • Contract the muscles at the front of the right thigh.
  • Keep the leg straight during contraction with knee pressing down.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and release.
  • Repeat with another leg.

Buttock Squeezes (Glutes)

The gluteus muscles are located in the buttock region. These muscles support and control the hip joints.

  • Lie on back with legs straight out.
  • Squeeze the buttocks to contract the glutes.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and release.

Ankle Pumps

These exercises work the muscles of the lower leg to improve blood circulation and strength.

  • Lie on back with legs straight out.
  • Prop ankle up on a rolled blanket.
  • Flex foot and push heel away from the body.
  • Keep toes pointing up and toward the body.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat with another leg.

Heel Slides (Quads and Glutes)

These exercises engage the gluteal muscles as well as the quadriceps muscles.

  • Lie on back with legs extended.
  • Flex new hip at the knee.
  • Bring the knee off the bed while sliding the foot along the bed.
  • Keep another leg straight.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat with another leg.

Hip Abduction

Hip abduction exercises move the limb away from the body. Hip exercises can be done standing up with hands braced on the back of a chair. These exercises stabilize the pelvis and return gait (walk) to normal.

  • Lie on back with legs straight out.
  • Keep leg straight and toes pointed upward.
  • Slide the leg to the side moving from the center line of the body.
  • Move leg back to the center line, avoiding angling the leg inward.
  • Keep other leg extended and straight.
  • Repeat with another leg.

Knee Extensions

These exercises strengthen the quadriceps muscles and improve knee and hip flexibility.

  • Sit in a chair.
  • Raise the foot and extend the knee so the leg is straight.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Lower the foot back to the floor slowly.

Improve Balance

After you have improved strength, it’s time to work on improving balance.

  • Place a telephone book or solid object on the floor as a step.
  • Holding onto a counter or table, step forward and onto the object.
  • Slowly step back down.
  • Repeat with another leg.

Strength and Balance

  • Hold onto counter or table for support, and shift your weight onto the affected leg as you lift the other foot off the floor.
  • Stay level, avoiding leaning or tipping to one side.
  • Stay balanced on one leg for 20-30 seconds.
  • Lower the foot to the floor.
  • Repeat with another leg.
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