Having a total hip replacement requires some planning. Though you’ll be encouraged to move and exercise as part of your post-op healing process you won’t be able to move as freely for a while and you’ll want to make sure you put your comfort and safety above all else. Here are some quick things to keep in mind before going in.
- Do keep the leg facing forward – as you know by now your leg placement and your hips are all connected. When you’re not doing exercises with your therapist or at home it’s important to not rotate your leg. Some people like to “pop their hip” when they stand, but it’s important to avoid this while you’re recovering from surgery. If you keep your feet always straight out in front of you and not rotated in or out you’ll be pointed in the right direction.
- Do use a high kitchen or barstool to sit on – you might realize very early on that getting up and down from a sitting or laying down position will be a challenge. To combat this try to use higher chairs or bar stools when sitting. In the case of chairs, you can also pad them with cushions to give you an extra lift. If you don’t have access to those then make sure someone can be there to help you up and down when you need it. You’ll be grateful for the extra leverage! Here are some examples of how to raise and lower yourself.
- Don’t cross your legs – this follows from the first point, but crossing your legs after surgery will not only be painful it will slow down the healing process. If you habitually cross your legs or sit cross-legged this is something you’ll want to try and break yourself of before you go in for surgery. Catch yourself in the act of doing it so you’ll get used to this new habit before it’s a problem.
- Don’t wear challenging shoes – You may not think of it right away but after your surgery putting on your shoes is going to be an adjustment as well. Since you won’t be able to bend at the waist or cross your legs you won’t be able to tie your shoes the way that you’re used to. You’ll want to invest in a pair of shoes that slip on and off easily if you don’t already have them. You might also want to look into slippers that are both for indoor and outdoor use. It’s also important to remember that high heels are not your friend right now (even small ones). Whatever shoes you choose, think about adding extra stick-on grips to the bottom of them to avoid slipping, skidding or falling.