Returning to sport after hip arthroscopy can be intimidating. I find it helpful to break the recovery into 4 major phases. It is important to remember that each phase builds on the accomplishments of the previous one. Therefore, every patient’s journey is going to be different. It is crucial to communicate closely with your physician and rehabilitation team to make the journey as smooth as possible.
Phase I: The First Steps
This phase prioritizes gentle healing and safeguarding your hip. Our aim is to minimize strain on the surgical site while nurturing your body's healing process. Together, we'll engage in tailored exercises to restore your hip's range of motion and enhance stability in your core, gluteus muscles, and hip flexors.
Phase II: Building the Foundation
Gradually, we'll reduce your reliance on assistive devices, encouraging a more natural gait. Our focus will be on cultivating proper posture and movement patterns. Hip-strengthening exercises, such as squats and lunges, will lay the groundwork for continued progress. This phase will also include balance exercises to enhance stability during activities.
Phase III: Embracing Progress
In this phase, your hip movements will become smoother and less painful. We'll concentrate on strengthening your hips, core, and pelvis to bolster your body's support system as we prepare for higher impact activity. Targeted dynamic balance and core strength training will elevate your overall stability. Many patients will integrate independent strengthening at the gym in this phase (only after clearance with their provider and rehabilitation specialist).
Phase IV: Returning to Sport
In this phase, we'll initiate running exercises, ensuring you can decelerate with control and proper technique. Gradually, we'll introduce sport-specific training, agility exercises, and plyometric progressions to enhance your sports readiness. We will closely monitor your exercise volume and collaborate with trainers or coaches for sports-specific guidance.
Remember, every patient’s journey is different. Close communication with your medical team is the key to a safe recovery after hip arthroscopy.