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A physiotherapist will assist you with exercises
to help your circulation and help restore movement to the joint.
They will also assist and teach you to walk.
If your surgeon has used a lateral approach for your hip surgery,
you must not perform abduction
exercises (side lifting of the leg) for 6 weeks. These exercises
will be highlighted within this section (not for lateral approach).
Before you start your exercises your
surgeon and physiotherapist will discuss your physiotherapy
programme with you.
Day of operation
It is important that you start with some simple exercises
straight after your surgery.
Deep breathing exercises
Lying or sitting down, take a deep breath in through your nose
and feel your tummy rise. Then breathe out slowly through your
mouth. Take four to five breaths like this. Repeat five to six
times a day.
With your knees straight, stretch your ankles up and down. This
helps your circulation and will help to prevent a DVT (deep vein
thrombosis). Do this regularly (every hour).
Gluteal (buttock) exercises
Lying on your back, squeeze your buttocks firmly together. Hold
for three seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times each hour.
Day 1 after your operation
These exercises are designed to increase the mobility of your
new hip. All exercises should be done slowly and in a controlled
You should be aiming to do all of these exercises about four to
five times a day.
As you get stronger you will be able to do more each time. To
start with, aim to do 10 repetitions of each exercise and build to
Quadriceps (thigh) exercise
With your toes pulled towards you, tighten your thigh muscles by
pushing your knee down into the bed. Hold for five seconds and
Place a rolled towel under your knee. Keep your thigh resting on
the rolled towel and lift your heel off the bed so that you fully
straighten your knee.
Hold for five seconds and slowly lower.
Hip and knee flexion
Lying on your back, slowly slide your heel up the bed, bending
your knee, then slowly straighten again.
Hip abduction (not for lateral
Lying on your back, keep your knee straight and your toes facing
the ceiling and slide your leg out to the side. Slide it back to
Your physiotherapist will instruct you when you can start
doing these exercises.
- Hold onto a bench or solid surface to do these exercises.
- strengthen your "new" hip.
Hip abduction (not for lateral
Stand straight holding onto a support. Lift your leg to the
side, making sure that your toes face forward and that your trunk
Stand straight holding onto a support. Bring your leg backward,
making sure that you keep your knee straight and do not lean
Sit on a chair, pull your toes up, tighten the front of your
thigh muscle and straighten your knee slowly.
Hold for five seconds, then slowly lower.
Using crutches or frames
When you are using your crutches or walking frame, always
- stand up straight and keep your head up
- to take a step - take both crutches forward first
- step forward with your affected leg and take the weight through
- step forward with your good leg
- walk with your feet pointing straight ahead - try not to let
your affected leg turn out to the side.
Lateral approach surgery
You must not put your full weight through your new hip. The
maximum you are allowed is 25kg (your physiotherapist will check
this with you on a pair of scales). You must walk this way for 6
Getting in and out of a car (Lateral approach surgery)
Keep your legs together as you swing in and out of a vehicle. Do
not put one leg in or out and then the other.
Getting up and down from
- Use chair arms or bed to push up into standing, then put
hands/arms into crutches.
- Do not put hands/arms into crutches before standing.
- Remove your hands/arms from the crutches, then use the chair
arms/bed to sit down.
A good way to remember which leg goes first when going
up / down stairs with crutches, is using the acronyms GAS and
Place GOOD leg first.
Then AFFECTED leg up same step.
Followed lastly by STICKS (crutches).
If using a banister/hand rail, put your crutches into one hand
in the shape of a cross, and hold the banister with the other hand,
as in the first picture.
If someone is with you when using the stairs, please ask them to
carry one crutch to enable you to use the banister/hand rail.
Place STICKS (crutches) down a step first.
Then AFFECTED leg on step.
Followed by GOOD leg on same step.