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Side lifts after THR: why can't I do them?

Josephine

NURSE DIRECTOR EMERITUS
Nurse Director
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
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Well, if you think about it logically, it's not at all surprising.

First a few engineering principles: if you want to lift something with a rope or a lever, the longer the leaver, the more leverage you can get. You can't lift a slab of stone with a short lever but you can with a longer, thicker one.

aflagsforworship.co.uk_jo_pic_images_lever.jpg


And remember that trick you tried when you were a child, trying to hold a broom at arm's length when only holding it at the end of the handle? Almost impossible, wasn't it? Even though you thought the broom was light, when you add your arm and the weight+length, and then add the gravity, it becomes very, very heavy, very very quickly!

aflagsforworship.co.uk_jo_pic_images_pinchlever.jpg


With that in mind, read on:
when you do an SLR laying down, you are using the HUGE, long quads muscle - big lever, easy lift​

aflagsforworship.co.uk_jo_pic_images_straightle.jpg


when doing side lifts, you are using very short and quite small abductor muscles so
when you lift your foot to the side when standing, you're not having to fight against gravity all that much. The weight becomes more like a simple pendulum and it's relatively easy to swing it out to the side​

aflagsforworship.co.uk_jo_pic_images_sideliftst.jpg


BUT when you are laying down on your side and try to lift the leg, you are lifting the WHOLE weight of the leg against gravity. Not just the hip, not just the thigh but the knee, calf and foot as well. And since each leg is approximately 1/3 of your total body weight, that's big ask for those short wee muscles!​

aflagsforworship.co.uk_jo_pic_images_sidelift.jpg
 
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