Hip Rehabilitation, Guidelines Following Surgery

ExitCare ImageThe results of a hip operation are greatly improved after range of motion and muscle strengthening exercises. Follow all safety measures which are given to protect your hip. If any of these exercises cause increased pain or swelling in your joint, decrease the amount until you are comfortable again. Then slowly increase the exercises. Call your caregiver if you have problems or questions.


Most of the following instructions are designed to prevent the dislocation of your new hip.

  • Do not put on socks or shoes without following the instructions of your caregivers.

  • Sit on high chairs so your hips are not bent more than 90 degrees.

  • Sit on chairs with arms. Use the chair arms to help push yourself up when arising.

  • Keep your leg on the side of the operation out in front of you when standing up.

  • Arrange for the use of a toilet seat elevator so you are not sitting low.

  • Do not do any exercises or get in any positions that cause your toes to point in (pigeon toed).

  • Always sleep with a pillow between your legs. Do not lie on your side in sleep with both knees touching the bed.

  • You may resume a sexual relationship in one month or when given the OK by your caregiver.

  • Use crutches or walker as long as suggested by your caregivers.

  • Begin weight bearing with your caregiver's approval.

  • Avoid periods of inactivity such as sitting longer than an hour when not asleep. This helps prevent blood clots.

  • Return to work as instructed by your caregiver.

  • Do not drive a car for 6 weeks or as instructed.

  • Do not drive while taking narcotics.

  • Wear elastic stockings until instructed not to.

  • Make sure you keep all of your appointments after your operation with all of your doctors and caregivers.


These exercises are designed to help you keep full movement of your hip joint. Follow your caregiver's or physical therapist's instructions. Perform all exercises about fifteen times, three times per day or as directed. Exercise both hips, even if you have had only one joint replacement. These exercises can be done on a training (exercise) mat, on the floor, on a table or on a bed. Use whatever works the best and is most comfortable for you. Use music or television while you are exercising so that the exercises are a pleasant break in your day. This will make your life better with the exercises acting as a break in routine you can look forward to.

  • Lying on your back, slowly slide your foot toward your buttocks, raising your knee up off the floor. Then slowly slide your foot back down until your leg is straight again.

  • Lying on your back spread your legs as far apart as you can without causing discomfort.

  • Lying on your side, raise your upper leg and foot straight up from the floor as far as is comfortable. Slowly lower the leg and repeat.

  • Lying on your back, tighten up the muscle in the front of your thigh (quadriceps muscles). You can do this by keeping your leg straight and trying to raise your heel off the floor. This helps strengthen the largest muscle supporting your knee.

  • Lying on your back, tighten up the muscles of your buttocks both with the legs straight and with the knee bent at a comfortable angle while keeping your heel on the floor.

  • Lying on your stomach, lift your toes off the floor towards your buttocks. Bend your knee as far as is comfortable. Tighten the muscles in the buttocks while doing this.