Healing after hip fracture surgery

Early rehabilitation

Your physical therapists will begin treatment as early as two to four hours after surgery. This is important because it begins your journey towards regaining strength and better range of motion.

The rehabilitation team will work together to provide the care and encouragement you need during the first few days after surgery. They will teach you some simple exercises to be done in bed that will strengthen the muscles in the hip and lower extremity. These exercises may include:

  1. Gluteal sets: Tighten and relax the buttock muscles.
  2. Quadricep sets: Tighten and relax the thigh muscles.
  3. Ankle pumps: Flex and extend the ankles.

Your physical therapist will also teach you proper techniques to perform such simple tasks as:

  1. Moving up and down in bed.
  2. Going from lying to sitting.
  3. Going from sitting to standing.
  4. Going from standing to sitting.
  5. Going from sitting to lying.

Although these are simple activities, you must learn to do them safely.

Another important goal for early physical therapy is for you to learn to walk safely with an appropriate assistive device (usually a walker or crutches). Your therapist will teach you the proper techniques for walking on level surfaces and stairs with the assistive device.

The occupational therapist will also visit with you to teach you how to perform activities of daily living safely.

Tip: Your exercise program is designed specifically for you. Commit to following your program and overcoming the challenges in physical therapy and you will succeed in meeting the goals you set. To help speed recovery, practice walking a little further each day.

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