Getting Your Groove Back: Exercising After Hip Replacement Surgery

Unidentified person with crutches taking first steps on stairs. - Dr. Herrick Siegel
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If you’re considering or recovering from total hip replacement, you may be wondering if it’s possible to regain your active lifestyle. The good news is that with dedication and expert guidance, resuming enjoyable physical activities is absolutely achievable after hip surgery. However, returning to higher levels of exercise requires taking a gradual, stepwise approach to allow proper healing of your new joint.

In this article, discover recommendations from specialists to safely increase your activity following hip replacement. You’ll learn:

The initial rehab exercises to promote recovery

When you can expect to walk unaided and climb stairs again

The most joint-friendly workouts to choose

Reasonable sports to return to

Precautions to protect your new hip parts

Let’s explore how you can get your groove back after this life-improving surgery!

Phase 1: Focus First on Fundamental Healing

The first phase spanning the initial 4-6 weeks post-operation prioritizes healing bone and soft tissues while steadily rebuilding strength, balance and flexibility. According to specialists, the only activities besides brief walking should be functional exercises practiced in therapy. These target stabilizing muscles supporting the hip like the glutes and deep core.

Early on, moves that improve endurance involve standing up and sitting down, stair stepping, and controlled floor exercises. Some discomfort may surface, but slow progression actually lessens pain over time by conditioning tissues.

After a few weeks, balance activities help the body establish new positional awareness since replacement joints lack innate receptors. Actions like single-leg standing, gradual step training, and closed-eye challenges hone equilibrium.

Once able to walk moderately for 10+ minutes and stand independently without support devices, you’ll switch to a cane or crutch before unaided mobility.

Phase 2: Steadily Resume Your Regular Routine

Returning to daily living activities promotes further recovery. Hospital discharge requires completing essential tasks like self-care, eating and walking stairs with support tools independently.

Yet ease into regular routines gradually. Avoid overexertion by incrementally raising demands weekly instead of all at once. Individual recovery timelines adapt to pre-surgical joint state too. But ongoing stamina and flexibility gains should facilitate light activities within three months typically.

Phase 3: Build Back Your Exercise Endurance

After week 4-6, your surgeon clears more intense conditioning to rebuild cardiovascular health and strength. Non-impact options like biking, swimming, regulated yoga and weight lifting protect implants optimally.

Pursuits like rowing, elliptical training, doubles tennis and golf offer activity without heavy joint loading also. Inform instructors about precautions for modifications. And opt for familiar sports over new endeavors that add wear and tear.

Athletes wondering about higher intensity interests can discuss realistic possibilities during the three-month consultation. Still, lower impact activities place fewer demands on hip components.

Phase 4: Caring Long-Term for Your New Hip Implant

Though activity restrictions usually lift fully after two months, ongoing hip health requires diligent lifestyle habits.

Gradually progress new sports cleared by your surgeon. Vary daily sitting, standing and light movements to distribute joint pressures. Exercise routinely to nourish cartilage and support muscles. Allow anti-inflammatories six hour absorption periods. And maintain alignment with balanced posture and appropriate footwear.

Living Your Best Life After Hip Replacement Surgery

Without question, recovery demands dedication through temporary discomfort and activity modification. But staying the course makes thriving for years possible doing what you cherish most.

Collaborate with your specialized orthopedic team to identify optimal activities for your evolving rehabilitation needs. Then progress judiciously within your limits week-to-week until you’re confidently moving well again!

Birmingham Hip Specialist Can Guide You

Request a consultation with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Herrick Siegel of Siegel Orthopaedics in the Birmingham, Alabama and surrounding areas. With over 21 years of hip reconstruction experience and board subspecialization, Dr. Siegel gives you tailored guidance regarding hip replacement surgery.