Tag Archive for: Anterior approach hip replacement

While physical therapy isn’t required following an anterior approach hip replacement – many patients find that they are able to hit their recovery goals much faster when guided by a physical therapist – as they are able to focus effort on the areas that need the most work. It’s common to have muscle imbalances following long-term osteoarthritis so if you have walked with a limp for some time before surgery, you may find that gait training helps you return to walking normally.

We recommend finding a physical therapist familiar with anterior hip replacements – as patients who have received other approaches often have multiple restrictions or precautions for up to 12 weeks after surgery. Ask us for a list of local therapists we recommend. Alternatively, your insurance provider may be able to share in-network therapists.

Do not start physical therapy until you have been cleared at your 2-weel post-operative meeting, however, we recommend planning ahead and contacting your chosen therapist before that date as it may take some weeks to schedule your initial PT evaluation.

You may also find pool therapy beneficial – after around 4 weeks after surgery when your incision has fully healed.

In addition, you will also be provided with a set of exercises that you can perform on your own at home. Aquatic exercises, swimming, and stationary bicycle walking will also be beneficial.

Most patients find ice beneficial for the first 7-10 days after surgery to help reduce swelling and pain.

Apply ice for 20 minutes per hour as often as every hour. Many patients use gel packs that can be frozen, while others find ice machines very convenient. Ask us if you’d like to arrange a rental.

If you prefer to use ice packs, remember to wrap them in a pillowcase or towel so they are not in direct contact with your skin as this can cause burns. After your surgery you may experience some temporary changes in skin sensation near your incision, so you will need to take extra care to avoid prolonged direct exposure to ice.

Approximately two weeks after surgery you can start using heat as needed.