So You’ve Had Arthroscopic Hip Surgery. . .

The number of people who are diagnosed with a hip pathology and subsequently undergo arthroscopic surgery is growing each year. Thanks to a renewed focus on the biomechanics of the hip joint, coupled with technological advancements in surgical techniques, diagnosing and treating hip pathologies is easier and less invasive.

If you suffer from hip pain, many orthopedic surgeons and other clinicians will likely recommend trying non-surgical treatment options to relieve your pain before recommending that you go under the knife.  A combination of rest, a modified level of activity, and physical therapy may allow you to avoid the cost and stress of surgery. Physical therapy can help correct your body mechanics and muscular imbalances to ensure the most efficient use of your muscles to help support your joints, thereby possibly avoiding the need for surgery to relieve your symptoms.

If non-surgical treatment does not relieve your symptoms and surgery is required, here are some tips to help you prepare for your rehabilitation following surgery.

 Things to avoid:
  • Sitting on low, soft surfaces
  • Pivoting on the operated leg
  • Crossing your operated leg over your other knee
  • Lifting your operated leg straight up while lying down or sitting
Getting in and out of bed:
  •   Rest the operated leg on top of the non-operated leg
  •   Use the non-operated leg to lift the operated leg
Setting your crutch height:
  •  Position yourself standing up straight with one arm relaxed, using the other arm to help support yourself.
  • Place the crutch so that the bottom end is resting on the floor about 2 inches outside your foot and 6 inches in front of your foot.
  • The overall height is then adjusted so there is a 2-inch space between your armpit and the top of the crutch.
  • The height of the crutch handle should line up with the bony aspect of your wrist right below your thumb so that when you place your hand on the handle, your elbow is bent between 20-30 degrees.



These are just some basic tips. Remember that your surgeon will help outline your individual rehabilitation protocol based on a variety of factors, including operative findings and procedures performed. Your surgeon should communicate closely with your therapy team to help ensure the best plan of care is developed and delivered to you during your physical therapy treatment.


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O’Sullivan, S. B., & Schmitz, T. J. (2007). Physical rehabilitation. 545-546.Philadelphia: F.A. Davis

Spencer-Gardner L, Eischen J, Levy B, Sierra R, Engasser W, Krych A. A comprehensive five-phase rehabilitation programme after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy: Official Journal Of The ESSKA [serial online]. April 2014;22(4):848-859. Available from: MEDLINE, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 17, 2014.

Wahoff M, Ryan M. Rehabilitation after hip femoroacetabular impingement arthroscopy. Clinics In Sports Medicine [serial online]. April 2011;30(2):463-482. Available from: MEDLINE, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 17, 2014