Dislocation for a person with total hip replacement is when the ball of the prosthesis pulls out of the socket. It happens to only about 2% of THR cases within the first year. The most common cause of dislocation is an accident – a fall, a crash, a hard impact – and we rarely have any control over an accident*. But in your everyday life and especially when it comes to your yoga practice, avoiding dislocation is all about awareness. With mindful movement the chances of dislocation are very low.
Even though dislocation is rare it can happen. In yoga we stretch and move our hips into various positions. It is important to remember that the hip is new to you and what you were able to do before surgery is not necessarily what you will be able to do after. Learn good yoga technique, move with mindfulness, err on the side of caution, and make strengthening your primary focus.
Follow these rules of thumb:
- Work on strengthening the muscles around the joint to provide stability and to keep it safe.
- Take your time and move with awareness.
- Put flexibility on hold. You may have memory of how you used to be able to get into a certain bendy pose. These memories are strong and can compel us to get back to our old level of mobility. Put those impulses on hold!
- Get to know and befriend your new hip! Your body is different, not better, not worse, just different.
- Get your Surgeon’s ok to begin any exercise program
- Err on the side of caution because it is better to be safe than sorry. One minute of glory in a “big pose” is not worth months of rehab or a trip to the hospital for revision surgery!
Note that another risk for dislocation is if the ball of the new prosthesis is too small for the socket. Yoga can’t do anything about that! Which make this a good thing to discuss with your surgeon. Read about questions to ask your surgeon here.