Hip rehabilitation - Dr. Michael Lehmann
What's important after a hip operation?
After a hip operation, patients should without fail receive input from a professional physiotherapist. In ideal cases, all of the basic skills required for good joint function will be optimised gradually. During hip rehabilitation, it is important to restore mobility. Specialist stretching and treatment techniques can be used for this. Manual therapy can also specifically stretch chronically contracted muscles, resulting in optimised joint mobility.
Hip surgery aftercare
Supplementary treatment in warm water (aquatherapy) can be of benefit as it can help relax the muscles without stressing the joint.
During the initial healing phase, passive mobilisation therapy on a continuous passive motion machine (CPM) has been found to be extremely beneficial, in which the leg is automatically moved through a range of positions and the scope of movement is gradually increased. At the same time, mobilisation therapy on the continuous passive motion machine also represents effective prophylaxis against adhesions. This therapy should be carried out several times a day for up to six weeks, depending on the operation.
The use of moist heat, which encourages lymphatic transport and can reduce swelling, has also been found to be useful in rehabilitation after hip surgery. During the first few days after hip surgery, local cold applications can also be of benefit (e.g. ice packs).
Training the muscles of the hip
Once the "internal wounds" have healed, an appropriate training programme needs to be carried out during the first six weeks in order to increase strength and stamina. Professional coordination training is also essential, as this allows not only complex movement processes to be re-learned, but also ensures the more even distribution of stress on the joint, which can contribute considerably to protection of the musculoskeletal system.
When can weight be put back on the hip?
While weight can often be put back on the leg immediately after a hip prosthesis implant, other hip operations allow only partial weight-bearing during the initial period.
Following arthroscopic procedures to the hip joint, crutches need to be used in the first few weeks, for example.