Preventing hip dislocation after surgery

Hip joint dislocation can occur after surgery if care is not taken when getting out of bed, sitting in low chairs or bending down to the floor.

Precautions should be taken to prevent dislocation and your physiotherapist will educate you about these movement precautions. Once muscle strength has been restored, then these precautions can be reduced. This will normally take about
three months.

Physiotherapy at home can be started one to two weeks after discharge and includes:

  • Assistance with getting used to walking without crutches or previous mobility aid
  • Hip range of movement, strength (especially gluteals) and flexibility exercises
  • Manual therapies such as massage and joint mobilisations to improve scar tissue flexibility.
  • In post-surgical rehabilitation, the physiotherapist works with you to plan your return to optimum function.

This can involve hands on treatment to massage sore muscles and move stiff joints, as well as a variety of land or waterbased exercise groups.

Hydrotherapy is water-based exercise in a therapeutic pool. The warm temperature helps relax muscles and improve range of movement. The water provides stability, allowing patients to walk without crutches.

With less weight on the operated leg, pain can be reduced and performance can be improved. The buoyancy improves circulation and helps decrease swelling.
Do the first few sessions one-on-one with a physiotherapist before continuing in a group or on your own.

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