Hip Injuries and Your Rehabilitation Options

Hip injuries are among the most common causes of reduced mobility and disability in adults older than 60. Rehabilitation after hip injury can greatly reduce the chances of becoming disabled. Treatment that includes extensive physical therapy has been shown to enhance recovery results after hip injury, improving mobility, strength, range of motion, balance and endurance — all critical factors in the ability to resume an active lifestyle.

Why Rehabilitation is Essential

Rehabilitation is an integral part of hip replacement procedures. Therapy following hip replacement surgery helps restore range of motion and build muscle in the hip area, increasing support for the newly installed hip implant to lower the risk of dislocation or failure. Rehabilitation should begin almost immediately after surgery for the most benefit, since inactivity in the aftermath of surgical injury to the hip can impede recovery.

Rehabilitation after a hip fracture is crucial to regaining health and mobility. Hip fractures are among the most common hip injuries in the over-60 crowd, occurring in approximately 350,000 seniors per year, and among the most debilitating. Generally, fractures are repaired surgically, or if the hip joint is significantly damaged, hip replacement may be done.

Patients who do not undergo rehabilitation therapy have a much higher rate of disability after hip fracture. A good percentage will not regain their ability to walk without assistance. Patients who fail to regain mobility and independence after hip fracture are at high risk for a general decline in health, well-being and physical function that can, in some cases, lead to premature death.

On the other hand, patients who undergo extensive rehabilitation after the repair of a hip fracture can often emerge from the process with more mobility, strength and endurance than they had before their procedure. Physical therapy also reduces the risk of post-surgery complications.

Rehabilitation can be especially important in patients who must undergo revision surgeries, particularly those who have tissue or bone damage from implant failures or complications. Osteolysis and metallosis, which are serious inflammatory conditions related to implant debris, can make recovery a more difficult process.

Rehabilitation Options

Once patients have been discharged from the hospital, they can choose to go on to a rehabilitation center, use outpatient therapy services or have a therapist work with them at home. While outpatient or home therapy is certainly better than no therapy at all, best results are often found in using a rehabilitation center, since they are equipped to provide the intensive therapy that optimal recovery demands. A rehabilitation hospital is staffed with experts to direct and aid patients in recovery, ensuring safe and effective exercise and mobility. Rehabilitation centers also give patients access to state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment, such as the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill™, resistance exercise equipment, and other tools that can aid in faster and more complete recovery.

The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which has an optional Lift accessory that can hoist the patient from a wheelchair, makes recovery comfortable and safe. The AlterG supports the patient while allowing partial weight bearing. The treadmill helps to make the recovery period shorter and less painful. This is ideal for seniors, who already have a tough time going through rehabilitation.


Written by Guest Bloggers at Drug Watch