Hip Rehabilitation – 8 months

I am now just over 8 months post hip replacement and I would say now that although I am a lot better, I am not in my opinion right yet.

I am probably 75% better. The other 25% would consist of continuing to strengthen the leg, balancing on the leg, running after my 2 year old and being able to walk up and down stairs comfortably. I still am not able to hill walk (properly yet) or ski as I am not confident enough on the leg as it just continues to feel weaker. I definitely have strength issues my operated leg and I really do not know why. Perhaps as my friend said things take longer especially when you are a younger and a higher performance person and have higher expectations. This could be true but I am still unsure why I find it hard to do a mini dip/squat on the operated leg 8 months post op.

One of the thoughts I have for this are my hip abductors. They are still incredibly weak and slow to fully engage. If this muscle group is not functioning correctly then you will not be able to stand on the operated leg and squat properly. Also running will be a problem. However I feel I am doing a lot of exercises to strengthen this muscle group but still I am struggling. Admittedly I am not doing these exercises daily and it is possible if I do I may be able to make the muscle ‘remember’ again and have some carry over. It is frustrating for me as I expected that at 8 months I would be pretty good and near 100% back to normal.

At my request, Nic has begun to massage the scar. Being a doctor himself and doing a lot of orthopedics in South Africa, he could see I had a lot of scar tissue and tethering over the greater trochanter (outer hip bone) and that it needed a lot massage to break the scar down. This is most likely what is the clicking sound I feel when I shake the leg, flex or abduct it.

Also pre-op my limp was pretty bad and my hip abductors completely inhibited i.e. not working at all so I clinically reason that it will take a while for the strengthen to return to as near as normal as possible.

I will focus on regular scar tissue massage, lots of hip abductor, buttock and abdominal work for the next 2-4 months and reassess.