Whether caused by a fall, a car accident, or any other trauma, a hip dislocation is extremely painful. That’s because the ball of the hip joint has been forced out of its socket. As a result, the adjacent ligaments, labrum, muscles, and other soft tissues holding the bones in place often are also damaged, and there may even be further injury to the nerves surrounding the hip.
When it’s severe, a hip dislocation not only makes you unable to move your leg, but also it can cause you to lose feeling in your foot or ankle area.
While a dislocated hip can be guided back into place either by hand or repaired through surgery, rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy is often also required to speed up the healing process – and to help decrease the risk of a recurrence in the future.
What Can I Do if My Hip Is Dislocated?
Specific exercises for a dislocated hip include the following:
Resistive Hip Abduction
The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the hip muscles. An exercise band and either a heavy table or chair are used to supply increased resistance. Place one end of the exercise band around the leg of the table or chair, and place the other end of the band around the ankle of your injured leg.
You then stand in a way so that the healthy side comes near the chair or table. Then, holding onto the chair or table, gradually lift your injured leg away from your body in a sideways direction.
Once the leg is extended as much as possible without causing pain, hold this position for about three seconds. Then, gradually bring your leg back to the initial position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Upright Knee Raise
You can also strengthen your hip muscles by performing standing knee raises four times daily. First, stand behind a sturdy chair, and grab its back with both of your hands.
Next, gradually raise your injured leg while smoothly bending the knee. However, don’t lift the knee higher than waist level.
Hold this position for several seconds, then gradually bring the leg back to the initial position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Hip Flexion and Extension
This exercise involves leg swings or hip flexions to stretch the muscles of the injured hip and leg. It can be performed either on the floor or in water that reaches your chest or waist (e.g. in a pool).
If in a pool: Grab the side of the pool on your healthy side. Then gradually raise the injured leg from the surface, and swing it in the forward direction away from your body. Hold that position for several seconds before gradually swinging the leg in the backward direction. Then, hold that position for several seconds before gradually bringing the leg back to its initial position. Just make sure that only your hip is in motion. Don’t move your upper body and neck. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
If on the floor: Use a sturdy chair placed on your healthy side. Grab the back of the chair on that side, gradually raise your affected leg, and perform the exercise as noted above.
Orthopedic Doctors in Central Maryland
As in the case of a hip dislocation, painful joints may not always be avoidable, but they are certainly treatable. If you are experiencing persistent joint pain due to an injury, illness, work conditions, or any other reason, an orthopedic physician can help.
Call the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland today at (410) 644-1880 or fill out our simple appointment request form. We’ll explain what can be done to help relieve your pain – and get you back to doing what you enjoy the most.