Two exercises physical therapists may use in hip surgery recovery

Hip Surgery Recovery

Recovering from hip surgery can be rapid or slow depending on what type of surgery you’ve had. For instance, an arthroscopic outpatient surgery patient tends to recover faster than a patient who has had a total hip replacement. 

Hip surgery isn’t as common as knee surgery, but it’s estimated that about 635,000 hip replacements will be taking place annually in the U.S. by 2030. As part of your hip surgery recovery, you’ll likely be asked to work with a physical therapist. These specialists can help you regain your ability to move and help you recover faster. One way they can help you meet these goals is by showing you how to do therapeutic exercises for your hip. Here are two exercises that your therapist may recommend as part of your recovery plan: 

  1. Ankle pumps

During the first few weeks after surgery, you’ll be limited in the types of movements you can perform. However, your physical therapist can show you gentle exercises that can help boost your hip surgery recovery. One such exercise is the ankle pump, which can help strengthen the lower leg and improve blood flow to the entire limb. 

How to do the ankle pump exercise

  • Lie on your back on the bed with both legs straight. 
  • Place a folded towel or blanket under your ankle to prop it up slightly. 
  • Flex your foot by pushing your heel away from your body and pulling your toes toward you.
  • Hold this position for three to five seconds. 
  • Now, point your toes away from your body and let your heel move toward you.
  • Hold this position for three to five seconds. 
  • Try to complete 10 ankle pumps total and take rest breaks whenever you need to. 
  1. Heel slides

Heel slides are a slightly more active exercise that can be part of your hip surgery recovery routine. This exercise is designed to strengthen the glutes and quads in your recovering leg. 

How to do the heel slide exercise

  • Get into bed and lie down on your back. 
  • Position both legs straight out in front of you. 
  • Move the foot of your affected leg so that it’s flat on the bed and your knee is slightly bent. 
  • Slowly pull your heel back toward you as far as you can. Concentrate on contracting your quads and glutes as you do this movement. 
  • Hold this position for five to 10 seconds. 
  • Slowly let your heel slide back to where it started. 
  • Repeat the movement three to five times. 

Wondering where to turn for help with your hip surgery recovery? Excel PT can help!

If you’re looking for professional help with your hip surgery recovery, our Excel Sports & Physical Therapy team is here for you. We offer top-notch post-surgical rehab that’s performed by experienced physical therapists. Our team can personalize your rehab plan to fit your needs and meet goals such as: 

  • Reducing post-surgical pain.
  • Improving hip range of motion.
  • Increasing hip muscle strength.
  • Speeding up your recovery process.

Contact our team today for more information about the surgical rehab services we offer or to schedule an initial appointment.