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Ester Marsh: Exercise helps recovery from hip surgery

Q. I am facing hip surgery, which exercises can I do after the surgery?
A. My mother in the Netherlands just went though hip surgery and is doing great!
It is a big decision and I always mention to ask your doctor as many questions as possible. Write them down before you go to your doctor so you will not forget. My experience is that doctors are very willing to answer but when the question is not asked, it is difficult for them to guess what is on your mind.
After surgery you will go to “joint camp” and will have an excellent staff to help you get back on your feet.
Listen to your doctor, physical therapist and nurses. All of them helped to get you the new hip, the exercises and care but you, and only you, can make the surgery a success.
If you don’t do the exercises they give you to do every day, the surgery will not be as successful as it could be.
Early postoperative exercises:
• Ankle pumps: Slowly push foot up and down. Do this as often as every 5 or 10 minutes.
• Ankle rotations: Move your ankle inward toward your other foot and then outward away from your other foot. Do this 5 times in each direction 3-4 times a day.
• Bed-supported knee bends: Slide your heel to your buttocks, bending your knee and keeping your heel on the bed. Do not let your knee roll inward. Do this 10 times, 3 to 4 times a day.
• Buttocks contractions: Tighten the butt muscles and hold for a count of 5 seconds.
• Abduction exercise: Slide your leg out to the side as far as you can and slide it back.
• Quadricep: Tighten your thigh muscle. Try to straighten your knee. Hold 5-10 seconds.
• Straight leg raises: Tighten your thigh muscle with your knee fully straightened on the bed. As your thigh muscle tightens, lift your leg several inches of the bed. Hold 5-10 seconds. Slowly lower.
I wish you all the luck on your upcoming surgery and remember, listen to your doctor, physical therapist and nurses. They really do know what is best for you. My mom did and she is doing great.
Ester H Marsh, ACSM Cpt

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