Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I'm a retired nurse about to have my first hip joint replacement. I'd like to stay active after surgery. What can I do after the operation?

Answer:

Your doctor and physical therapist will guide you in the postoperative rehab. Generally, patients are told to put as much weight on the leg while walking as they can tolerate. Most likely, you'll start out with a walker. This will be replaced by one or two canes. By the end of six weeks, you should be walking without assistance. You can start to put full weight on the leg at that time. A program of exercises will be prescribed from day one. It's best to do these everyday during the first two months. The therapist will advance the exercises as you progress. Water aerobic activity is a helpful tool for rehab. This can be started when your physician approves it. The activities in the water help strengthen the muscles while limiting the weight on the leg. Thomas E. Brown, MD, et al. Thigh Pain After Cementless Total Hip Arthroplasty: Evaluation and Management. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. November/December 2002. Vol. 10. No. 6. Pp. 385-392.

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