If you are about to have your hip replaced, you will need to begin a rehabilitation program very soon after the procedure is completed. The type of rehabilitation will vary with the surgical technique used to attach the metal prosthesis to the femur. This artificial ball and stem can be affixed either with bony cement called methylmethacrylate or a “cementless” prosthesis with microscopic pores into which bone from the femur grows.

Because rehabilitation is essential to help you adapt to your new hip, its focus should be to improve range of motion and reduce pain and swelling. Here are some important points to remember as your hip replacement surgery approaches:

• To get you used to your new hip, your rehabilitation program will begin in the hospital the day after the surgery.

• Your initial physical therapy usually includes transferring out of bed and sitting on a chair.

• The next step involves taking a few steps in your room.

• Closer to discharge, you will start walking with either a walker or crutches.

• Consult your physician and physical therapist before engaging in any weight-bearing exercise or activity because the ability to deal with such exercise depends on the type of implant used.

• Some exercises can be patient the benefit of a pain-free workout.

• At home, it is important that you stay active, but do not overdo it. A little common sense can be a tremendous asset.

• The length of rehabilitation varies from patient to patient. Some patients complete rehabilitation quickly, while patients with more complicated surgeries may need to continue some form of rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.

Be aware every patient’s surgery is different and outcomes often vary.  Speak with your physical therapistand surgeon about how you are doing and progressing instead of comparing it to friends or relatives who had a similar surgery.