Most hip replacement surgeries are followed by physical therapy sessions. If it's not routinely offered, you should ask for physical therapy to speed your recovery and strengthen your body after surgery. Physical therapists and physicians are excellent guides.
Start slowly. The chance of additional injury or hampered recovery time is increased right after surgery. Start with simple range-of-motion exercises and build up to more intensity.
Ankle exercises can be performed in bed by pointing your toes toward the foot of the bed, then toward your knees, then rotating around a full revolution. Buttocks contractions strengthen the posterior muscles such as the gluteus maximus. The exercise should be performed slowly, holding the contraction for a few seconds before releasing.
Stand up for exercises a few days after surgery. With your hands on the back of a chair, you can perform a series of slow, careful exercises that will return strength to your legs and hips.
Raise your leg up toward your hip slowly. Do not try to make your knee parallel to your hip--raise it until you meet resistance. Hold for three to five seconds and slowly return to resting. Repeat with the opposite leg three to five repetitions, several times a day.
Still holding onto the back of the chair, move your leg out to t he side of your body until your muscles begin to protest. Hold for three to five seconds and return to resting. Repeat with the opposite leg three to five repetitions, several times a day.
Perform advanced exercises several weeks after surgery. These are similar to the moderate exercises but also include weights and resistance training to build up muscles.
Place a resistance band around the lower leg of a chair and the other end on the foot opposite the chair. Holding onto the chair back with the closest hand, extend your leg out in a straight line from the chair. Repeat 10 times and then switch legs.
Walking, with frame, cane and finally fully weight bearing, will also improve strength and stability. Your physician or physical therapist will guide you.