The hip is one of the most frequently replaced joints in the orthopedic industry today, with about 400,000 hip replacements performed each year in the United States. Aging, injuries, and obesity can all put quite a bit of strain on the hips. Fortunately, new advancements in hip-replacement surgery have allowed this procedure to be performed on an outpatient basis.
However, one of the keys to post-op success is remembering that recuperation isn’t over when you leave the hospital or rehab center. You’ll need to prepare your abode and your lifestyle to ensure an optimal outcome and seamless transition.
Recommendations for After Hip Replacement Surgery
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends a number of easy-to-do techniques to help you adjust to your new body after your hip replacement surgery:
Sleep on the first floor.
Climbing the stairs isn’t an option right after hip-replacement surgery. Either sleep in a downstairs bedroom or consider getting a cot or a hospital bed.
Take a seat, but not too low.
The elevation is key during your hip surgery recuperation, as you shouldn’t bend your new joint too much until the soft tissues have had adequate time to heal. Couches and low recliners aren’t very friendly to healing hips, because standing up after sitting on them can be difficult to do. You will want to avoid low beds, low chairs, low couches, etc., and be sure to purchase a raised toilet seat to utilize during this period.
Use seats that are firm, not too soft and cushiony.
Even when you’re just lounging, a firm chair is considered safer for hip surgery patients. Soft chairs require more effort and strength to get out of, and you want to put as little pressure on your hip as possible.
Buy a shower seat and handle.
Showering while standing upright will feel burdensome, and you won’t be able to take baths due to wounds healing for a while. But this doesn’t mean you should skip personal hygiene. Invest in a sturdy shower seat or tub bench and a removable shower handle, and you’ll be able to bathe comfortably. You may want to consider temporarily replacing any shower doors with curtains for easy in-and-out.
Ensure your walker fits through your doorways.
Since you will be utilizing a walker post-surgery, make sure it fits into your surroundings. Measure any doorways you’ll need to pass through before deciding which type of walker to purchase or rent.
Avoid bending too low or reaching too high.
Overall, bending too high or too low is a no-no. This means you should start organizing items from high kitchen cupboards and low closet shelves, so they’re easily accessible when you need them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep plenty of easy-to-make food items on hand and within easy reach, such as bread, peanut butter, and crackers.
Maintain proper positioning.
Be sure to never sit with your knees above hip height. Set up a comfortable recuperation center where you can spend your time during the day, resting your new hip while sitting properly.
Keep a fun environment for recuperating.
To eliminate the feeling of boredom that so many people struggle with after surgery, make sure you have plenty of things to keep you busy – whether it be your favorite Netflix shows saved, or a stack of books and magazines you’ve been meaning to read.
Make the organization fun and accessible.
Designate an easy-to-reach bowl or box where you can keep all your keys, remotes, and other gadgets (you know, the ones that are always getting misplaced).
Ensure your pets won’t get in your way.
If you slip and fall after surgery because your cat or dog is on the floor and you didn’t see him there, it could be severely hazardous. You’ll want to plan ahead to make sure pets can stay with a friend, family member, or neighbor. If nobody is available to watch your fuzzy friend, do research on boarding and kennel services.
Remove accent rugs and floor items that could cause you to trip.
Clear all the floors of any loose rugs and clutter that may be in your path, as this will reduce the likelihood of tripping.
Don’t hesitate to let others help you.
While you’ll most likely have everything you need on hand, do accept the help of family and friends during this recuperation period.
Contact an Orthopedic Surgeon Today
If you take the time to make these adjustments ahead of time, your home will feel like a sanctuary for healing when you return after your hip replacement surgery. Your surgeon will also offer a wealth of knowledge about pre- and post-op preparations.
The 12 highly skilled and board-certified surgeons at Spectrum Orthopaedics provide outstanding care to their patients, and they have conducted countless minimally invasive hip replacements with successful outcomes.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (330) 305-0838 or (844) 469-2663, or fill out our online appointment request form today. We look forward to helping you achieve the active lifestyle you want and deserve.