Total hip replacement surgery has made significant advancements the past 5-10 years. Surgery can usually be performed in an outpatient setting without an overnight stay at a hospital. Depending on the approach and your surgeon, some patients do not require therapy after their surgery.
There are two main approaches to hip replacement surgery, an anterior and posterior approach, each with its advantages and disadvantages. A third approach, lateral, is also performed but is less common. Your surgeon will be able to discuss which approach is right for you.
Most patients who receive a hip replacement with a posterior or lateral approach will receive therapy as your surgeon will have to cut and reattach your gluteal muscle.
Patients who have a long history of hip pain and limitations, complications after surgery, or are looking to become more active may also be good candidates for physical therapy.
After surgery and for the first few weeks, your therapy will focus on pain management, restoring mobility and initiation of gentle strengthening exercises. Once your pain is under control and healing continues, your therapist will progress the strengthening exercises, work on balance retraining and will begin scar mobility.
If you, or someone you care about, is going to have this surgery, please share this Health Tip and keep us in mind for outpatient physical therapy.