Aquatic exercise boosts recovery from
Young Adult Hip Surgery
Recent years have seen advances in hip surgery for younger patients. This is largely attributable to improved understanding and recognition of the potential hip problems for this age group, and advancing surgical techniques that have developed in order to address these issues. Minimally invasive surgical procedures are more appealing to both patients and surgeons by offering improved recovery times. If problems are discovered early enough in the younger patient, then often there is the chance to preserve the life of the hip joint by performing surgery before more serious problems arise. There are many factors which may determine the type of surgery performed and at what age a patient requires intervention.
Below we outline the benefits of using aquatic-therapy post operatively, discuss two common young adult hip problems, and the surgical techniques which are now more commonly used.
Young Adult Hip Surgery Aquatic-Therapy benefits:
- As is evident in the video clip embedded in the case study below the body’s natural buoyancy in water relieves body weight, allowing for easier walking and functional movements (such as walking, step up’s, running, and eventually more challenging exercises like hopping and jumping) after the surgery. *It is important that these exercises are gradually introduced by an Aquatic Specialist Physiotherapist at the right stages of recovery.
- The hydrostatic pressure of the water has positive effects on reducing swelling which occurs post operation, which in turn helps regain more range of motion and reduces pain.
- Further positive influences on pain regulation are due to the relaxation effect of warm water and suppression of the sympathetic nervous system associated with water submersion.
- The sensory input of the water can also increase body position sense enabling improved feelings of balance and confidence.
- Through increased confidence and reduced pain patients are able to move more freely, which often leads them to report reduced fear and anxiety about the recent surgery. This has a feed forward effect where future behaviours and movements over the early stages of recovery will greatly determine long term outcome.