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6 Reasons Physical Therapy Will Help with Hip Recovery

Author: Maxwell Medical
by Maxwell Medical
Posted: Nov 03, 2018

Hip replacement is a procedure in which a damaged section of the hip joint is removed and replaced with artificial joints, often made from metal, ceramic and hard plastic. It is usually used as a last option after all the other treatment methods fail to relieve the pain.

The most common reason that leads to hip replacement is osteoarthritis, a condition that causes the hip joint to wear down, thus becoming painful, stiff and swollen.

Some other conditions that can cause hip joint damage and lead to the need for hip replacement surgery include rheumatoid arthritis (a disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joint), avascular necrosis (a condition that occurs due to loss of blood to the bones), a hip fracture and bone tumors.

The primary aim of replacing a painful and arthritic joint with an artificial joint is to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other.

With the replacement of an arthritic joint with an artificial joint, the joint finds a new surface which moves smoothly and flexibly.

The goal of hip replacement surgery is to relieve pain, improve the function of the hip joint, and restore and improve the patient’s ability to walk and perform other functional activities like stair climbing and running.

Physical therapy is an integral part of rehabilitation after a full or partial hip replacement surgery.

What to Expect from Your Physiotherapist during Hip Recovery?

After your hip replacement surgery, your physiotherapist will review your exercise program, work with you on your hip precautions, perform some gentle exercises to improve the strength and range of motion of your hip and make recommendations about your safety.

He or she will also guide you whether you should use a walker or crutches after surgery to prevent injury.

Your physical therapy treatment will begin soon after you wake up from surgery. In the first session, your practitioner will help you move from your bed to a chair.

In the next few sessions, he or she will help you begin walking using your walker or crutches.

During your stay in the hospital, you are likely to receive one to three physical therapy treatments every day.

After being discharged from the hospital, you can continue your physical therapy treatment at your home or a physical therapy clinic NYC as recommended by your surgeon.

An in-patient physiotherapy program usually ends after you are able to walk safely out of the home, which may take up to three weeks.

However, in an outpatient setting, you may need a few more visits if you have problems walking.

Your physical therapist can sometimes use aquatic therapy, which takes place in a pool or other aquatic environment to reduce stress on the hip joint.

Reasons Physical Therapy will help with Hip Recovery

Following are some of the reasons physiotherapy can be beneficial for the people recovering from hip replacement surgery.

1. Decreased Inflammation and Pain:

Swelling and inflammation are usually common during the recovery process after a hip replacement surgery because of slow blood circulation in the affected area.

Physical therapists use heat, ice, or electrical stimulation to relieve the pressure on the joint to increase blood circulation that results in reduced swelling, inflammation and pain.

2. Prevention of Blood Clots:

After a hip replacement surgery, the patients are at highest risk for developing blood clots in their legs in the first two to ten days and remain at risk for around 12 weeks.

Prevention of blood clots is necessary because a clot can break loose and move to other parts of your body, including lung, heart or, in some rare cases, in your brain that could put your life in danger.

A Physical therapist can reduce the formation of blood clots using tissue mobilization and pressure application techniques.

3. Increased Joint Strength and Movement:

After your hip replacement surgery, pain and swelling can make it difficult for you to stretch the joint.

Your physiotherapist will lead you through the exercises that increase your joint strength and help you bend and straighten it without pain and with greater flexibility.

4. Reduced Risk of Falls:

Physical therapy can reduce the risk of falls and slips that can pose a big threat to your recovery from hip replacement surgery. It will help the patient to effectively perform rehabilitative exercises he or she would be reluctant to do otherwise due to fear of injury.

5. Postural Corrections:

Physical therapists can help their patients to correct their posture during the exercise. Since the practice strengthens the back and spine, the patients can more easily correct their gait and joint positioning. An Improved posture promotes faster recovery and reduces the risk of future injuries.

6. Reduced Joint Stress:

Physical therapy treatment like aquatic therapy can reduce stress on healing joints to accelerate recovery. Since the body is 80 percent weightless underwater and bears only 20 percent of its weight, the treatment can greatly reduce the stress on the hip joint and increase mobility.


Recovery from a hip replacement surgery can be a lengthy process and often makes the patients frustrated by the pace of their recovery. Physical therapy is a safe and effective treatment that enables them to quickly and safely return to their previous level of function and mobility.

Besides promoting faster recovery, physical therapy is also beneficial to the overall health of the patient.

The ultimate goal of physiotherapy is to help you maximize strength, walk normally, and improve your ability to perform your routine activities.

To keep your new hip joint healthy for a long time, you should avoid the activities that put too much strain on it like running, jumping, lifting and climbing for some weeks after your hip replacement surgery.

Most of the patients who come to MaxWell Medical Physical Therapy Clinic NYC are in some degree of pain when they arrive, so initially, physical therapy treatments are geared towards reducing inflammation and discomfort.

About the Author

MaxWell Medical speclizes in chiropractic care, neck pain tretment, back pain treatment and sports medicine therapies.

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Author: Maxwell Medical

Maxwell Medical

Member since: Dec 18, 2017
Published articles: 18

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