Post operative physiotherapy after hip replacement
Physical therapy after hip replacement is an important component. The operated leg is kept spread apart with the help of a pillow between the two legs. Crossing the leg is not advised for fear of dislocation.
Physical therapy starts as soon as you are able to move your legs. It initially consists of quadriceps strengthening exercises, deep breathing and pelvic bridging exercises. Hip abduction is encouraged.
Partial or full weight bearing is allowed on the next day with the help of a walker. Patients are encouraged to walk within the room and go to the toilet. Gradually they walk in the hospital corridor and can climb stairs by the fourth or fifth day. I decide on the time of full weight bearing.
This decision is based on the type of implant like cemented or uncemented. With cemented hip replacement, immediate full weight bearing is possible within twenty four hours. With uncemented implants, this may be allowed at six to eight weeks.
If you have had a stem cell treatment for Avascular necrosis, then partial weight bearing is allowed after six weeks. The rehab for this follows the general lines as for an uncemented hip replacement. Swimming in a pool is encouraged after wound healing has occurred at two weeks.