Pre-hab is a relatively new concept that is designed to prepare your body to work at optimal ability as you recover from your orthopedic surgery. Studies show that being in the best possible health prior to an orthopedic surgery can, ultimately, help patient outcomes. Pre-hab can you help you to maintain strength and overall health prior to surgery. The body’s ability to heal is extremely impressive, but it also can be helped along with the addition of pre-hab to your surgery preparation program.
The hip is a very complex joint because it has many different muscles, tendons and ligaments. In fact, one of the ligaments around the hip, the iliofemoral ligament, is the strongest ligament in the human body. There are many types of procedures as well as dysfunctions of the hip. Some of these include muscular imbalances, bony abnormalities such as Femoroacetabular Impingement, osteoarthritis as well as tendinitis.
When preparing for hip surgery, it is important to understand the basic anatomy of the muscles that support the hip. The hip has 4 major muscle groups which include the abductors, the adductors, the flexors and the extensors. The function of the adductors is to bring the leg to the midline. In contrast, the abductors function to move the leg away from midline. The flexors and extensors, too, interact synergistically. In addition to those 4 major muscle groups, you have smaller muscle groups that support the hip by stabilizing and controlling rotational movements. Some of these are the Deep Six rotators which include the piriformis, gemellus superior, obturator internus, gemellus inferior, obturator externus, quadratus femoris. These muscles support the hip directly, but the core also provides a lot of support to the hip and pelvis indirectly. Many view the core as the abs – those muscles that allow some to show off their six-pack. The core actually consists of all muscles that attach to the pelvis, legs, back and abdominals.
When determining how you want to address your pre-hab for your hip surgery you should consider different exercises that support each group and that are within your current ability level. For example, each muscle can be strengthened in different ways. Often times, one way may be more challenging than another way.
For each of these muscle groups, you should identify one or two that you can achieve with correct posture and movement by doing (3) sets of 10-12. Please note that each picture in the gallery also has a video with correct instructions as far as movement and range of motion.
In addition to your muscle work, focus on your cardiovascular health, as this is also extremely important. Recovering from surgery requires stamina and one of the best ways to gain stamina is through cardiovascular exercise. There are many low impact cardio exercises that you should talk with your Doctor, PT or exercise trainer about. Some of these include swimming, elliptical, bicycling and walking.
There are also ways to increase the intensity of each of these exercises with the use of bands or other props. Please check with your hip healing professionals for more specifics and guidance. This information's purpose is to act as a guide, and you are encouraged to work with professionals who are familiar with your unique case.