When you have a hip fracture, physical therapy is an important part of your recovery. Your treatment and recovery depend on the severity of your fracture and the type of surgery you need to have done. In some cases, surgery might not be needed, and in that case, your bone may be given a chance to heal before physical therapy is begun.
If you need surgery, such as a partial hip replacement, total hip replacement, or fracture repair, your physical therapy may begin in the hospital before you are discharged. Here are ways a physical therapist helps you recover from a fractured hip.
Helps Prevent Complications From Surgery
Hip surgery has the potential for complications such as blood clots and pneumonia if you don't resume activity as soon as possible. Your doctor determines when you're ready to begin physical therapy, which could be a day or two after surgery. Initially, the therapist helps you get out of bed, transfer to a chair, and do gentle strengthening and stretching exercises until you're able to progress to walking and doing more strenuous activity.
Helps You Regain Your Balance
The physical therapist evaluates your balance to determine if poor balance contributed to your fall and if you need therapy to improve your balance. You'll want your balance to be as good as possible so you don't develop a fear of walking and become inactive.
There are several types of balance exercises you can do, so the therapist can match the exercises to your fitness level and your abilities after surgery. The therapist ensures your safety at all times even if you have trouble maintaining your balance.
Rehabilitates Your Hip
Your doctor might send you to a rehab center after surgery if you're unable to go home safely after your surgery. You can have physical therapy in a rehab center, at home, or at a physical therapy clinic. You'll probably need several weeks of formal rehabilitation as soon as you're ready. The goal of rehab is to strengthen your muscles, improve flexibility, and prepare you for daily activities.
Your therapist might help you learn to walk up and down stairs safely, exercise without straining your hip, improve your overall fitness level, and prepare you to live an active life after your surgery. The aim is usually to restore your activity level to what it was before surgery, but that could take many months.
Physical therapy plays a vital role in recovering from a hip fracture. A hip fracture can be serious since it leaves you bedridden if you don't work to regain your muscle strength and balance. A physical therapist can help you reach your full potential in recovery.
If you have additional questions, contact a local physical therapy center.