hip replacement

Getting it right after a hip or knee replacement

A recent NYT article (Getting a New Knee or Hip? Do It Right the First Time), as the title suggests, details the proper steps one should take if they are contemplating a hip or knee replacement – get a good doctor who has done a lot of the procedures, gather lots of data, adjust expectations, and follow doctors advice regarding recovery.

There was no mention of exercise. As personal trainers it is beyond our pay grade to prescribe and administer an exercise regime immediately after surgery, but we have worked with a large number of clients who have undergone hip, knee, and shoulder replacements once they have completed their rehab with a physical therapist.

Some examples:

• Doris aged 74 had both knees, both hips and one shoulder replaced. She exercised every week.

• Gale had a double hip replacement and had finished her therapy. When she entered our New Orleans Personal Training facility she was still using a walker. Years later she is still going strong with not a hint of a problem to her hips.

• At age 72 Jack started working out after his first knee replacement and right before his second knee replacement. A couple of months after his second surgery he was able to climb in and out of a bass boat to go duck hunting. Meanwhile his law partner who had the same operation at the same time was still using a walker.

• Tom aged 53 had a total shoulder replacement as a result of an accident. Prior to the accident he had been working out at our Austin Personal Training facility. It was seven months before he was able to return. He was told that the most he could expect was to lift his extended arm to should level. When his doctor saw him lift his arm directly over his head he said it was "amazing and remarkable” .

We follow simple guidelines. With the MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment we use we can make fine adjustments and limit the movement to a pain-free range of motion. Gradually we increase the range and make small increases in the resistance. Over time with small continuous improvements the results can be dramatic.

More information on joint replacement and exercise:
Exercise, Osteoarthritis, and Joint Replacement Part 1
Exercise, Osteoarthritis, and Joint Replacement Part 2
Exercise, Osteoarthritis, and Joint Replacement Part 3

What clients are saying: "I was in tears walking on the Great Wall of China"

Number 14 in a series about what clients have to say about their workouts. 


“It was emotional partly because I was walking on a part of history that has been there for over a thousand years. I also remembered back to a year ago and it was emotional to think of how much I had changed. A year ago I was in such pain that it was difficult for me to even go out and buy groceries. It had been a year and one week since my hip replacement.”

The operation was life changing, and Cindy has made great progress since her hip replacement. Cindy is one of many we have worked with who have had hip, knee or shoulder replacements. It is our good fortune to be able to play a small part in helping people make positive changes in their lives. Seeing clients make positive changes is what makes our jobs worthwhile.

At both of our locations, Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Training, we use MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment that is suitable for those with joint problems, but it is also suitable for those who are in peak condition.