Physiotherapy for Hip replacement surgery

What to expect after surgery

Physiotherapy begins the day after surgery whereby the Physiotherapist (PT) will teach specific exercises to strengthen and return to normal functional activities with modifications.

Exercises right after the surgery are limited due to the pain. Bed exercises such as ankle pumps, heel slides, quads sets are important to preserve the muscle strength. You may refer here for the exercises instructions. As the week progresses, the physiotherapist will prescribe advanced strengthening and proprioceptive exercises.

Standing Hip / Knee Flexion

helps to mobilise and lubricate the hip joint, improving the strength and stability of the gluteal (hip) muscles.

March on the spot, bending your hips < 90º.

You may hold onto a chair/bar for support.

Repeat for 10 repetitions, 3 sets.

Mini Squat

helps to improve the strength of the gluteal (hip) and quadriceps muscles.

Bend the knees halfway, take note not to bend the hips past 90 degrees.

Hold for 5-10 seconds.

Return to the starting position, straighten the legs.

You may hold onto a chair/bar for support.

Repeat for 10 repetitions, 3 sets.


improves the strength of the hip abductors and regains good balance.

Step sideways for 2-3 metres and back.

Bear in mind to always point the toes forward as you step to the side.

You may hold onto a bar for support.

Pain relief

Apply ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to reduce swelling and inflammation. Painkillers should be taken 30 minutes prior to exercises.

Stiffness relief

Do the PT prescribed exercises regularly, 2 to 3 times a day. After prolonged lying or sitting, do some gentle stretching or range of motion exercises before getting up.

Resuming functional activities

A graduated gait re-training program with the use of a mobility aid such as a quad stick or walking frame recommended by a physiotherapist. Sitting, standing and climbing stairs will be guided. Take note of the weight bearing status recommended by the surgeon.

Activity modifications

Getting up from bed

Walking with a frame

Get up from chair

Precautions after surgery

Preventing blood clot Look out for warning signs including increasing pain in the calf and tenderness or redness above or below the knee.

Preventing infection Bacteria in the bloodstream during urinary or skin infection can affect the knee replacement.

Avoiding falls Some may experience leg length discrepancy, whereby the operated leg becomes shorter. There will be a feeling of instability as you stand or walk.

Look out for hazards in the environment and take extra care while walking on uneven grounds.

Life after hip replacement

Total hip replacements can function well for 10 to 15 years after the surgery with proper care.

The physiotherapist will follow up after the discharge to ensure restoration of full hip motion and pre-morbid functional mobility. Most functions return within 3 to 6 months.

Surgery is offered for severe cases when conservative treatments are not helpful.

In the next few articles we will share with you more about Physiotherapy in pain management.

If you read through all the above and still have any concern please feel free to contact me +65 8550 5466 as I do provide FREE Physiotherapy consultation over the phone.

Written by: Naazreen

Edited by: Bernice

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