Pilates After Total Hip Replacement

In the last two weeks I received 2 separate email requests for Pilates teacher referrals from women who had bilateral total hip replacement surgeries. One had just redone one hip as the replacement had dislocated.

Pilates is perfect after THR as it strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, quads, pelvic floor, inner and outer thighs/hips, back and abs - everything you need to stabilize those new additions! But it is crucial to work with a teacher who understands the restrictions in mobility and contraindicated movements for hip replacements.

Can you recommend a practitioner experienced/specialized in dealing with titanium thighs? I was doing Pilates for about 2 years before my surgery on 11/2/09, and am looking forward to getting back into it when practical. My former instructor, though great, has no experience in this area. I live in Northbrook Il a northern suburb of Chicago. Thank you.

Hi Sandra

I think you have several options here. One is to have your former instructor contact your surgeon or physiotherapist to simply discuss what not to do with you (no hip flexion past 90 degrees, no internal hip rotation or abduction across the body) as there is quite a bit within the Pilates system that you can do and it could be nice to work with someone you know.

I do advise taking privates on Pilates equipment and not simply doing mat Pilates.

There is also a rehabilitative Pilates studio re:fit in Glenview which offers PT and Pilates, with at least one Pilates teacher who is also a licensed Physical Therapist. This would probably be your best bet, even though there may be a 15 minute drive involved:

Let me know how this works for you!

Hi Lynda, Almost 13 years ago I had bilateral hip replacement surgery after being prescribed large doses of Prednisone. After those surgeries I became pretty active with walking, elliptical, strength training and in March '09 I began Pilates mat classes. I love these classes and saw the benefits in my weight and flexibility. Unfortunately, in Nov '09 I had a dislocation, and my surgeon performed a revision to my left hip in Dec '09. I live in Lansing, MI and would love to be referred to an instructor knowledgeable in how to work within my restrictions. My doctor and PT's aren't being very helpful. Are you able to make a referral in my area? Thank you.

Dear Deana,

Tina Sarkey has the most rehabilitation training of any teacher near Lansing, and also is a massage therapist.

The folks at Pilates Zone also do quite a bit of post-rehab work.

Just be clear to anyone you work with that you dislocated once, had to have a hip redone, and are interested in stabilizing and strengthening the area to avoid going through that again. I highly suggest doing Pilates equipment training and not purely Pilates mat for the work your hips need.

And of course for yourself you know the drill - no hip flexion past 90 degrees and do not internally rotate or cross your leg past your midline (no sitting with crossed knees).

Be well & feel free to ask more questions.

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