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Orthopaedic Specialists of Maryland

Hip - Physical Therapy and Exercises

Physical therapy is simply an exercise program that gently stretches and strengthens specific muscles and joints. The exercises you may perform are gentle, range of motion (stretching) exercises designed to restore movement and strength to your joint and to promote blood flow for healing. It is important to stay proactive in your physical therapy since it can have a direct impact on the total outcome of your surgery. Remember to stay diligent and don't give up. Ask for help if you need it. Friends, family members, and even neighbors can be helpful during your recovery, especially if you ask for their assistance prior to your surgery.

Physical therapy, which usually lasts between 4 and 6 weeks, plays a very important role in your recovery process. A physical therapist may demonstrate a variety of low-impact exercises designed to increase the strength and mobility of your hip joint; however, you should only perform the exercises that are ordered by your surgeon. The following are examples of exercises that your surgeon may prescribe.


  • With the foot of involved leg on step, straighten that leg
  • Return
  • Use a step or book
  • Height of step will depend on your strength
  • Start Low
  • You may exercise good leg as well
  • Repeat the recommended number of times

March in place while standing. If needed, support yourself with a standard object such as a chair. Repeat the recommended number of times.

The heel slide is performed while lying on your back. Bend your leg at the knee and gently slide the heel of your surgical leg towards your body in one continuous movement. Remember to keep your knee in line with your body. Repeat the recommended number of times.

Lie on your back and place a towel under your thigh. Lift your foot, straightening knee. Do not raise your thigh off of the towel roll. Repeat the recommended number of times.

Lie on your back and slide your legs out to side, keeping your toes pointed up and knees straight. Bring legs back to the starting point. Repeat the recommended number of times.

Place ball between knees, slide heels together, squeeze ball for a count of five. Repeat the recommended number of times.

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