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Hip replacement: Phase 2 exercises after surgery

Hip Replacement

Phase 2 exercise after surgery

Generally, you will start doing phase 2 exercises 6 weeks after your surgery, after you have seen your surgeon or physiotherapist. This allows for normal healing after surgery.

Exercise is important after surgery to make your new hip stronger and more flexible and to help prevent blood clots. The exercises may feel uncomfortable at first, but exercising will help you get back to your everyday activities sooner.

Your healthcare team may suggest you add some or all of the exercises below to the ones you were doing before surgery (phase 1 exercises).

Your healthcare team will tell you how often to do the exercises, how many times to repeat each exercise, and how much force or pressure you can put on your new hip.

It is important to do these exercises on your surgical leg. If you are able, you can do the exercises on both legs. Make sure not to force your new hip into a position that causes you pain or discomfort.

Exercise 1: Thigh and buttocks (clam shell)

clam shell

  1. Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent. Put a pillow between your knees.
  2. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee off the pillow like a clam shell opening. Don't twist or use your back muscles.
  3. Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  4. Slowly lower your knee back to the pillow.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 2: Bent knee leg lift

bent knee leg lift

  1. Lie on your back and bend your leg, keeping your foot on the ground.
  2. Tighten your stomach muscles by pulling your belly button down towards your spine.
  3. Lift your bent leg, being careful not to bend your hip more than 90 degrees (see photo above).
  4. Keeping your stomach muscles tight, slowly lower your leg back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 3: Lying on stomach leg lift

lying on stomach leg lift

  1. Lie on your stomach. Put a small, flat pillow under your stomach.
  2. Tighten your buttocks (bum) and lift your leg, keeping your leg straight.
  3. Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  4. Slowly lower your leg.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 4: Lying on stomach knee bend

lying on stomach knee bend

  1. Lie on your stomach, with your legs straight.
  2. Bend your knee and lift your heel toward your buttocks.
  3. Slowly lower your leg to the starting position.
  4. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 5: Sitting leg straightening with band

sitting leg straightening with band

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair and put an elastic band around one ankle. Hold the other side of the elastic band down on the floor with your other foot.
  2. While keeping your leg straight, lift the foot that has the elastic band around the ankle. Keep your other foot on the floor as you stretch the elastic band with your raised foot.
  3. Slowly lower your foot back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 6: Knee bending with band

knee bending with band

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair. Put an elastic band around both ankles.
  2. Put your foot on a stool. Pull the other foot back under the chair as you stretch the elastic band. Keep the other foot still on the stool as you stretch the elastic.
  3. Slowly move your foot to the starting position.
  4. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 7: Outer thigh strengthening with band

outer thigh strengthening with band

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair. Put an elastic band around both thighs and keep both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Pull your legs apart so your feet slide out along the floor to stretch the elastic band.
  3. Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  4. Slowly move your legs back together to the starting position.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 8: Standing hip strengthening with band

standing hip strengthening with band

  1. Place one end of an elastic band around a table leg and the other end around your ankle.
  2. Hold on to the table for balance and stand up straight.
  3. Keeping your leg straight, squeeze your buttocks muscles as you pull your ankle sideways (away from the table) to stretch the elastic band.
  4. Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 9: Standing buttocks squeeze with band

standing buttocks squeeze with band

  1. Put one end of an elastic band around a table leg and the other end around your ankle.
  2. Stand up straight, face the table, and hold on to it for balance.
  3. Keeping your leg straight, pull your ankle back and away from the table to stretch the elastic band.
  4. Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  5. Go back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 10: Front thigh and hip strengthening with band

front thigh hip strengthening with band

  1. Put one end of an elastic band around a table leg and the other end around your ankle.
  2. Stand up straight and face away from the table. Hold on to the table for balance.
  3. Keeping your leg straight, push your ankle forward as you stretch the elastic band away from the table.
  4. Hold for a count of 3 to 5.
  5. Slowly go back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 11: Step up, step down (range of motion and strength)

step up step down

  1. Place a solid object 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) thick on the floor to use as a step (like a book or a yoga block).
  2. Hold on to a table or counter for balance.
  3. Step up on the object.
  4. Slowly step back down.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 12: Sideways step up, step down (range of motion and strength)

sideways step up step down

  1. Place a solid object 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) thick on the floor to use as a step (like a book or a yoga block).
  2. Hold on to a table or counter for balance.
  3. Step up sideways onto the object.
  4. Slowly step back down.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times.

Exercise 13: Standing knee bend

standing knee bend

  1. Stand up straight and hold on to a sturdy chair, table, or counter for balance.
  2. Shift your weight onto your leg as you bend your other knee to lift your foot off the floor, towards your buttocks. Try to keep your knees apart, and don't lean or tip to one side as you move.
  3. Lower your foot to the floor.
  4. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise 14: Side-lying leg lift

side-lying leg lift

  1. Lie on your side. Bend your bottom leg so you don't roll onto your back.
  2. Keeping your top leg straight, lift it toward the ceiling. Don't roll forward or backward. Keep your knee facing forward.
  3. Slowly lower your leg.
  4. Repeat at least 5 times.

For more information on physiotherapy services in Alberta, visit ahs.ca/physio.

To see this information online and learn more, visitMyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=custom.ab_hipreplacement_phase2_exercise_inst.

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For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.

Current as of: November 23, 2023

Author: Bone and Joint Health SCN, Alberta Health Services

This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.

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