Therapy For Hip Surgery


  • If you are currently performing an exercise program, continue doing so.
  • If you are not currently performing an exercise program, you may incorporate exercises as directed on the hand-outs in your binder. If you attempt the exercises and find them too painful, stop doing them.
  • After surgery your physical therapist will give you an exercise program and progress you appropriately.



  • You will receive a session of occupational therapy prior to physical therapy. The occupational therapist will teach you how to get in/out of bed, and how to dress yourself without breaking your hip precautions. You will also be instructed on how to get in/out of a car.
  • All patients will receive physical therapy before being discharged from the hospital. The session will consist of getting in/out of bed, standing, walking and going up/down stairs.
  • Friends and family are encouraged to attend your physical therapy session with you.
  • If you are taller than 5’4”, you will be issued a raised toilet seat to help with your elimination needs after surgery. The raised toilet seat will attach directly to your toilet bowl.
  • You will be allowed to put full weight through your leg. You will leave the hospital on a cane. At some point during your hospital stay you will walk without an assistive device.



In home physical therapy

  • Jessica Decker, Dr. Berger’s discharge planner, will contact you prior to surgery to set up therapy in your home/hotel.
  • Therapy will start the day after you leave the hospital. If this does not happen, you need to contact Eileen Serafin at 312.942.5074.
  • In home therapy will be set up for 3 times a week until you are ready to progress into outpatient therapy. This may last anywhere from a couple of days to 2 weeks after surgery.

Outpatient physical therapy

  • You are responsible for setting up your outpatient physical therapy visits. You will be given an outpatient physical therapy prescription the day of the class or at your follow up visit. This prescription can also be found on the last page of section 5 in your binder.
  • You will go to outpatient physical therapy an average of 3 times a week for 6 weeks or until you meet your goals.
  • Select an outpatient facility which is convenient for you and takes your insurance. You may also want to work with a physical therapist you have worked with previously. If you need a recommendation, we will provide you with a list of facilities.
  • You should progress yourself into outpatient physical therapy as soon as you meet one of the following criteria:
    • You have met your goals at home and are discharged from home physical therapy by your therapist.
    • You are no longer home bound (i.e. you return to work).
    • You are no longer taking narcotics. Once you are off narcotics you are allowed to drive, and then are able to drive yourself to physical therapy.
    • You have transportation (i.e. a friend or family member to drive you to your physical therapy sessions).

There are three positions you need to avoid for three weeks to decrease the risk of dislocating your hip. The three positions are:

  1. No crossing your legs at the knees, ankles or ankle over knee. If there were an imaginary line drawn down the center of your body, your surgical leg cannot cross that line. You are allowed to sleep on your side, but you should use pillows to position your legs correctly.
  2. No twisting/rotating at your hip. You need to avoid positions in which you plant your feet or are sitting, and twist your hip (waist) area. To ensure this, make sure that your feet and hips are pointed in the same direction.
  3. No bending at your waist past 90 degrees. To avoid breaking this hip precaution, slide your surgical leg forward (increasing the angle at your waist/hip) before standing. Also, the occupational therapist will teach you how to dress yourself. You will receive a raised toilet seat before you are discharged from the hospital if you are 5’4” or taller.

Goals to Achieve by 2 Weeks

  1. Ambulate 2 blocks without an assistive device
  2. Independent with activities of daily living

Outpatient Hip and Knee Replacement • • 1611 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60612 • 312-432-2557