Post Op Exercises

Post op exercises are an important part of your recovery.

You may get up the same day as your operation, or perhaps the day after.  Either way you will be encouraged to start exercising and leave your bed for a short walk using a Zimmer frame or walker.


A physiotherapist will show you have to use your Zimmer frame or walker and you can rely on this for as long as you need. However staff will encourage you to move onto a pair of crutches as soon as you are able but in all probability you will be discharged before you make the transition to a single crutch. How far and fast you progress is as dependent on the work you put in at this stage as on the type of surgery you have had and your pre-op levels of fitness.

Other Exercises

These post op exercises are an essential part of your recovery process - do not neglect them!

Immediately after surgery you are at your most vulnerable. It is the time that the muscles holding your new joint in place are at their weakest and that you are at the highest risk of a blood clot or DVT (deep vein thrombosis) Exercising now will help keep you safe and increase the speed of your recovery. But before I start listing the most important exercises - a word of caution.

Before you start: Absolutely nothing I say should take the place of instruction from your physiotherapist or any other member of your clinical team. 

The information here is to support the work of your clinical team - not replace it.

Post Op Exercises

The aims of these exercises are to: -

  • Strengthen the joint to minimise the risk of dislocation
  • Keep the blood circulating - which will help prevent the formation of blood clots
  • Speed up your recovery time

Of course you're not going to be feeling up to much so the exercises are designed to be simple and all of them can be done lying in your bed flat on your back. Follow the links for detailed information about each exercise

  • Ankle pumps - help keep the blood circulating and so help prevent DVT
  • Heel Slides - stretch the illiopsoas muscle (muscle group which starts in the abdomen and finishes at the thigh)
  • Abduction - works the abductors (muscles on the outside of your thigh)
  • Quad Sets - strengthens your quads (the muscles in the front of your thigh
  • Buttock Contractions - tones the glutes
  • Leg Raises - another one for the quads

Moving On

Thes post op exercises will see you through the first few days after your operation. Soon you will be able to start adding more exercises to your routine - work hard at these and you'll recover quickly.

Related Links: 

Preparing for Surgery 
Preparing for Recovery

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