Since use of the “Capsular Noose” procedure, developed by Dr. Swanson in 2002 and the use of larger femoral heads, dislocation of the artificial hip is unlikely. However, during the early post-operative period while soft tissues are healing, you should be careful to avoid extreme positions, especially turning the knee inward when your hip is flexed (such as while sitting down). Always remember, as long as you can see the inside part of the knee on the operated side, dislocation is extremely unlikely, even while bending over.
The physical therapist will teach you stretching exercises to help cross your ankle over the opposite knee for handling shoes, socks, clipping toenails, etc. Always keep the knee rotated outward when you bend the hip past 90 degrees (such as reaching for something on the floor when sitting in a chair).
As a general rule, it is safe to flex the hip past a 90 degree angle if you have rotated the knee outward enough that you can see the inside part of the knee—keep this rule in your mind at all times; it will eventually become automatic when you bend over. Additionally, you will be given specific exercises by a Physical Therapist to help strengthen and stretch the muscles around the joint. Do these exercises regularly, at least 3 times daily, during the first 6 weeks after surgery. Stretching exercises are also important, particularly rotating the knee outward. You will be taught to sit in a chair with your feet together and press the knees outward while bending forward a bit. You will also begin to slide the operated ankle up the opposite leg with the knee rotated outward to eventually enable a “figure-4” position to allow easy access to your feet. Remember, as long as the knee is rotated outward, it is very difficult to dislocate the hip.
For more information about the Capsular Noose Repair read Dr. Swanson’s Publications and Presentations
To see a demonstration of post-op exercises and stretches read the Patient Brochure