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  • Writer's pictureAJ Kirkpatrick, PT, DPT

Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement: What to Expect

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Hip replacement surgery is a common and effective procedure for relieving pain and improving function in people with severe arthritis of the hip joint. After surgery, physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process.

Physical therapy can help you:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation

  • Improve range of motion

  • Strengthen the muscles around your hip

  • Improve your balance and coordination

  • Return to your normal activities

Physical therapy typically begins within a few days of surgery. Your physical therapist will start you with gentle exercises, such as ankle rotations and leg lifts. As you progress, you will gradually do more challenging exercises, such as walking, stair climbing, and sitting-to-standing.


Your physical therapist will also teach you how to care for your new hip joint. This includes things like how to move your hip safely, how to use a cane or walker, and how to manage your pain.


Physical therapy after hip replacement can be challenging, but it is important to stay motivated. With hard work and dedication, you can regain your independence and enjoy a more active lifestyle.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your physical therapy after hip replacement:

  • Attend all of your scheduled appointments.

  • Follow your physical therapist's instructions carefully.

  • Listen to your body and rest when you need to.

  • Be patient and don't give up.

With hard work and dedication, you can reach your rehabilitation goals and enjoy a pain-free and active life.


Here are some of the exercises you can expect to do in physical therapy after hip replacement:

  • Range of motion exercises: These exercises help to increase the flexibility of your hip joint.

  • Strengthening exercises: These exercises help to strengthen the muscles around your hip joint.

  • Balance exercises: These exercises help to improve your balance and coordination.

  • Aerobic exercises: These exercises help to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Your physical therapist may also recommend other treatments, such as:

  • Heat therapy: This can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Ice therapy: This can help to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Electrical stimulation: This can help to reduce pain and improve muscle function.

The length of your physical therapy program will vary depending on your individual needs. However, most people need to continue physical therapy for several weeks or months after surgery.


If you are considering hip replacement surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of the procedure. Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process, and it can help you regain your independence and enjoy a more active lifestyle. If you are in the Mission Viejo area and think you, or someone you know, might benefit from physical therapy, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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