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.
Continue Reading

Leave a Reply