Hip Arthroscopy Recovery Diary: Week 10

So you want to know how long it will take you to recover from hip arthroscopy, huh? Quite a while, that’s all I can tell you. Each person, each hip, each surgery is different. You need to talk to your surgeon and your physical therapist to know what you are allowed to do and when, because it will depend on what surgery you had, what your surgeon’s protocol is, and how your recovery is going.

However, if all you want is an example of what to expect, here is a hip arthroscopy recovery timeline for one person:

How I’m Doing

Well, not going to lie. Feels like the last couple of weeks have been pretty boring on the rehab front. Boring is not all bad in this case. No big flare ups or anything. I haven’t made any huge progressions with the exercises because right now my progression is a little more work each week. It’s insane how tired I am after a day of work, and I’m not even full time yet!

My left hip was a little annoyed by a faster walk on Monday (not much of an increase in time, though). Or maybe it was a longer day of work, who knows? Either way, it was a little sore, but was settled down by yesterday. The right hip is still going to win the votes for “Most Likely Hip to be Hurting”, but I will say that the frequency and intensity of the soreness is less than what it was.

Progress

  • Walking progress is slow because of not increasing it much, but I do walk normally and at a near normal pace. Monday was faster just because I was cold- so definitely my normal pace, but apparently a little faster than what it wanted to go.
  • I’m still tired by work, but am able to gradually do more and not end the day feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. Though I am still pretty useless after work. I think I am watching more TV now when I come home from work than I did on a lot of days immediately after surgery. It’s about all I’ve got left.
  • I keep finding myself doing “normal” things with my left hip. Higher steps, lifting and moving it in all sorts of ranges of motion.

Precautions

  • Simply progressing slowly. Just because it often doesn’t hurt much, that tissue needs plenty of time to heal and respond to all the new things it’s doing.
  • No impact greater than walking, and walking distance is limited. (In order to give time for things to heal, not because I’m limping or sore.)
  • Avoid movements that cause pinching.

What I’m Working On:

  • Honestly, just trying to keep up with exercises as I get back to normal work and demands on my time.

Exercises

  • Balance beam. That sounds WAY fancier than what it is, which is a 2×4 that has been sanded. What can I say? You want to get some muscles to work together? Be able to walk forward and back on a balance beam slowly for about 3 songs without stepping off. AND make sure you keep breathing and your arms can stay relaxed by your sides.
  • Psoas stretches
  • Iliacus stretches
  • Rectus femoris stretches
  • Hands and knees rocking (being on my hands and knees with my back flat and moving my hips back toward my feet)
  • Cat/cow
  • Bridges.
  • Bridging on a ball.
  • Hip hinge.
  • Standing “skaters” (hate the name of this one, because I don’t really think it’s very descriptive of the exercise, but I didn’t pick the name and it’s a good exercise).
  • “Supermans”
  • Gently hip rotation exercises.
  • Crawling. Yeah, you heard me. On my hands and knees. When this is done very slowly with the opposite arm and leg lifting from the floor and landing at the same time, it’s a great way to activate some core stabilizers.
  • Core activation. (Not technically one particular exercise, but rather being sure to engage during walking, pool, and yes, a few exercises where it is a little more of a focus.)
  • Bike (upright stationary)
  • Pool- Aiming for 2 times per week, walking forward, backward sideways, some standing hip movements and core activation, a little stretching. No hot tub due to COVID, so that’s about all I can take before I have to go warm up!
  • Calf stretches, toe extension stretches, foot strengthening (I know, foot and calf don’t SEEM like they would make a big difference to the hip, but they do. They really do.)
  • Continuing wall push ups and doorframe pulls for my arms.

Notes

  • To everyone in the stage of 8-12 weeks; there’s so much variation to where you might be right now. Some people are feeling great. That’s awesome, but remember that the tissues are still only 80% healed at 4 months and you’re not there yet! Take the time and give the tissues time to heal whether they feel like they need it or not. Other people are still struggling with a lot of things at this stage. I will see some people still on crutches, or struggling to walk without pain or get their range of motion back. This, too, is normal. Frustrating, but normal. Every hip is different, every surgery is different.

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