Reporting Stephanie Stahl
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By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Being the athlete he is, Ukee Washington knows all about hard work. Rehab after hip replacement isn’t easy, but it’s the key to recovering quickly. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on his physical therapy.
Ukee has a new left hip. He was able to have the less invasive kind of surgery to replace his old arthritic joint. Doctors say he’s been a model patient, and he’s now pain free for the first time in years.
“I’m walking with confidence again, and I’m going up stairs with no problem,” said Ukee.
Working out in rehab is what he’s been doing since three weeks after the surgery.
“This is the one I don’t like, but I got to do it, like eating vegetable as a kid you don’t like it but you have to do it,” said Ukee, as he did a squat.
“Challenging those muscles in the way that they actually work when we walk, when we do stairs, when we get up and down from a chair, and that’s really our goal is try to get them in those functional positions,” said Joe Dawson, a Physical Therapist with ATI Physical Therapy. He has been working with Ukee three days a week, for over six weeks now.
“In Ukee’s case he was very active before surgery, so he progressed very nicely. His first day he came in with no cane. He was ready to go. We’re doing a whole series of different lunges, balance exercises, things on the bosu ball to challenge his balance, to challenge his core stability,” said Dawson.
Physical therapy after hip replacement focuses on strengthening muscles in the stomach, back and legs, that help stabilize the hip joint.
Ukee says he initially felt a lot of stiffness in his upper thigh, and something that looks as simple as a leg lift, or stretching, was difficult at first, but not painful.
“Now it’s just a little stiff. But now I have a lot more range of motion. Now I have more confidence in stepping up going up stairs. It’s more about the confidence now and not being as stiff,” said Ukee.
Stretching is the other critical part of the therapy. It helps ease stiffness most hip replacement patients have.
Physical therapy usually continues for months after hip replacement surgery, and people are encouraged to stay in shape.
Doctors say Ukee should be back to playing golf by October.
Physical Therapy Post Hip Replacement Information- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/hipreplacementphysicaltherapy/pt039105.pdf
Hip Replacement Exercise Guide- http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00303