Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.Learn More
Hip precautions are positions and movements that your child should avoid after hip surgery. Hip precautions are needed when your child has had surgery to repair or replace the hip joint.
A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant will teach your child hip precautions and exercises to strengthen the hip. This care team member will also show your child how to walk with a walker or how to use crutches.
An occupational therapist, physical therapist, or physical therapist assistant will teach your child how to use equipment to help with everyday activities and make sure the hip is protected.
Always follow your care team’s instructions and ask questions if you are not sure.
The 2 main parts that make up the hip joint are the ball (femoral head) and the socket (acetabulum). The ball at the top of the thighbone fits into a rounded socket in the pelvis.
The muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and fluid in a normal hip joint provide a stable and smooth-moving hip joint. When any part of the hip joint is not working correctly, your child is at risk for dislocating their hip.
The muscles that surround the hip joint include the buttock on the back and the upper thigh muscles on the front. These muscles and ligaments are weakened during surgery. Until the muscles heal and regain strength, there is a risk for the ball of the joint to push out of the socket, causing hip dislocation.
Your doctor may recommend temporary or long-term hip precautions based on your child’s medical needs. These are known as standard precautions.
Standard hip precautions after surgery are often recommended by your child’s doctor for 6 weeks after surgery. These restrictions are needed to prevent your child from dislocating their hip. Movement restrictions include:
1. Do not bend at the hip or lift your leg past 90 degrees
2. Do not turn your toes in at the hip
3. Do not cross your knees or ankles
While in bed, your child may use the hip abduction pillow for up to 6 weeks depending on your surgeon's recommendations. This pillow keeps your child’s hip in the proper position.
When doing daily activities, your child should use equipment such as a reacher, long-handled sponge, and elevated toilet seat to prevent excessive reaching, bending, and twisting.
Your care team will let you know how much weight your child can put on their leg after hip surgery. Your child should follow those weight-bearing guidelines.
Your care team will let you know what activities are safe and when to start them after surgery.
After hip surgery, sports and activities that are high-impact or have a high risk for falls are usually restricted. Talk to your care team before your child begins any activity.
Call the care team if your child’s hip looks out of place or dislocated or if your child:
Reviewed: January 2024