Physical and Occupational Therapy for Joint Replacement Surgery
Physical therapy is vital for a successful recovery from hip replacement surgery. Physical therapy begins on the day of surgery and will help you increase your range of motion and strength during your hospital stay.
Good pain management prior to each physical therapy session is vital to make sure you get the most out of the exercises. Please take your pain medications consistently so you are well-prepared for your physical or occupational therapy sessions.
- After returning home from surgery you can return to your normal activities, such as bathing and preparing meals. At first you should limit your activities and progress to a pace that feels comfortable to you.
- In the beginning you may find you need to schedule a time to rest during the day. If you have stairs in your house, do not use them until the physical therapist has approved this activity. Gradually stop using adaptive equipment as appropriate.
- Consult with your physical therapist on the types of activities you can do. You should not drive or have sexual intercourse for the first four to six weeks following surgery.
Exercise is important for your general physical and mental health. The purpose of joint replacement surgery is to return you to an active and healthy lifestyle.
Since your joint replacement is a mechanical device, it is subject to wear and deterioration over time. Keeping this in mind, exercise should be vigorous, but not strenuous. You should permanently avoid high-impact sports, such as basketball, running or downhill skiing. Walking, hiking, doubles tennis, cross-country skiing and golf are safe activities. You should not travel for at least a month following surgery.
Occupational therapy begins on the first day after surgery with an evaluation. The occupational therapist will meet with you every day while you are at the hospital to ensure your progress towards a successful recovery.
Your occupational therapist will teach you to master many of the activities independently that are part of your daily routine, such as getting in and out of a chair or bed, getting out of a bathtub, taking a shower, and putting your socks and shoes on or taking them off.
The therapist will also help assess the best place for you to recover from surgery, whether at home or at a skilled nursing facility. Additionally, our therapists will help arrange the delivery of assistance devices, such as a long-handled shoe horn, a dressing stick and a reacher, and demonstrate how to use these devices.