Home Exercises to Rehab a Broken Hip

Jun 24, 2016

Home Exercises to Rehab a Broken Hip

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The climb back to health after hip surgery can be long and arduous. Essentially the main “cog” in the machine that is your body, an injury to the hip, is no small issue. Lots of rest and immobilization will be prescribed initially, but it will later be up to you to exercise and get back on your feet. Physical Therapists will be able to jumpstart the process, but it’ll be up to you or your loved ones to rehab the injury at home.

Home Exercises for Hip Rehabilitation

There are a variety of exercises that can be implemented to help the strength and range of motion of the hip. Below are a handful of home exercises to help you or your loved one get back on your feet.

  • Stretching – It’s important after warming up to stretch out not just your hips, but the rest of your limbs as well. A good stretch will increase the flexibility of the joints as well as get blood flowing to the injured area. Stretching will decrease the risk of pulled or strained muscles.
  • Seated Rotation Stretch – Sitting on the floor with both legs out in front of you, cross one leg over the other. Next, twist towards your bent leg while using both hands for support. Look over your shoulder and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side for about two to four sets.
  • Knee to Chest – Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out. Bend one knee back and grasp your shinbone. Pull your knee towards your chest as far as it will go and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg for four sets.
  • Supine Hamstring Stretch – Lie on the floor and lift one leg up. Clasp your leg behind your thigh and pull towards your chest. Straighten your leg until you feel it stretch and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg and repeat the entire sequence four times.
  • Abduction Stretch – Lie on your side with the injured leg on top and bottom leg under to provide support. Raise top 45 degrees and straighten but do not lock it. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat with both legs. Do this exercise in sets of four.
  • Hip Extension – Lie on your stomach on a firm, flat surface with a pillow tucked under your hips. Bend one knee at a 90-degree angle. Lift leg up slowly lower it back to the ground, counting to five. Repeat with the other leg and complete sets of four.
  • Walking – One of the simplest exercises to perform at home is walking. Not only will it strengthen and stretch out the hip, but also it’s a way to get out of the house. Reward yourself after weeks of rest and rehab by taking a walk around the neighborhood. It’s still best to bring a friend in case of falls, so why not bring a loved one.
  • Resistance Bands – Using resistance bands will help strengthen the hip and increase mobility. Make sure only to stretch the bands until you feel pain. Choosing to “grit through the pain” can lead to other injuries and complications.
  • Hip Flexor Stretch – With a resistance band wrapped around your waist and the other end safely secured to a solid object, start in split stance with one leg forward and the other behind you. Next lean back while also squeezing your glutes together.
  • Lateral Walks – Using a smaller resistance band, place it around your thighs, right above the knees. Spread legs apart until you feel discomfort. Keeping your foot and knee aligned take a set outward, laterally. Complete the step in a quarter or half squat, then with slow control, bring the other foot towards the first, reset, and step again.
  • Knee Stabilizers – Wrap the resistance band slightly above the knee and face perpendicular to the anchor. When the tension feels right, bend you knee slightly and work to maintain knee and foot alignment while your quads activate to stabilize your knee joint. Moving the knee and hip side to side, this will stretch out both the knee and hip flexor.

These exercises are designed to strengthen the joints as well as increase mobility. It’s important to stick to a steady workout routine so you or your loved one can get back on your feet in no time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the average recovery time for hip surgery?

This will depend on your overall health and how involved you are with your rehabilitation and healing process. Immediately after the surgery, you or your loved one will stay three to four days overnight. During your recovery time, you will participate in physical therapy for your broken hip, and will also want to continue to rehab your hip with exercises at home. Eventually, within a month you should be able to walk with the help of crutches or a walker. A few months after that, you should be able to walk on your own.

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How does osteoporosis play a role in hip injuries?

Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density and this means your bones, including your hips, can become extra fragile. Those with osteoporosis have a higher chance of injuries resulting in broken bones. Those with osteoporosis can break or fracture bones just by sneezing in some severe cases. If you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, contact your doctor to discuss which treatment options might be most appropriate for you. 

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