Hip Resurfacing Exercises
Hip resurfacing was developed in Birmingham, UK, as an alternative approach to total hip replacement for the management of hip pain and hip arthritis. A much smaller amount of bone is removed during the operation, allowing the retention of much of the patient's bone stock for normal hip function and potential re-operations.
This metal on metal hip resurfacing technique has been developed to relieve some of the problems of standard hip replacement, although there are still hip resurfacing problems and hip resurfacing complications. Hip resurfacing surgery is claimed to be less traumatic and that hip resurfacing recovery is quicker than normal hip replacement. While result look good, normal hip replacement may still be better in the longer term than hip resurfacing. NHS hospitals do perform this type of surgery although standard hip replacement is much more common.
The limited bone removal and the large size of the metal replacement hemispherical shells means that the hip is naturally stable unlike the small femoral head implants used for cemented hip replacement. This means that rehabilitation in the early stages is not limited in terms of joint range of movement as the chances of dislocation are very low.
Typical exercises in the first six weeks after operation are:
Sitting exercises include:
Standing exercises include:
Typical exercises after the six week period from operation are:
There is a video of exercises at VideoMD here and a discussion of rehabilitation at eOrthopod.com.
Post hip replacement exercises are usually sufficient, along with good walking technique, to bring the muscles and joints of the hip region back to normal working, however in some cases the joint is very tight and hip replacement stretches may need to be performed. These should only be done under the supervision of a physiotherapist due to the risk of dislocating the joint or a soft tissue injury.
Initially on presentation with an early arthritic hip the patient will be given exercises for joint pain by the physio as the first step, then if the operation goes ahead they will review the patient for the appropriate hip replacement therapy. To get the best out of cooperation with the physio in rehabilitation it is very enlightening to watch a total hip replacement video as the visual clarity of what actually goes on in the operation makes the instructions for the post-operative period clearer.