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Total Hip Replacement: Tips for a Successful Recovery


Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

After a total hip replacement, place a pillow between your thighs when lying on your back.

When lying on your back, place a pillow between your thighs.

If you’ve had hip replacement surgery, here are some things to keep in mind as you recover.

Continue to follow these guidelines until your doctor tells you otherwise.

After hip replacement surgery, you should avoid:

  • Bending past 90 degrees.
  • Twisting your leg in or out.
  • Crossing your legs.

 

After hip replacement surgery, it's especially important to place a pillow between your knees, especially when lying on your side.

Place a pillow between your knees, especially when lying on your side.

Lying in Bed After Total Hip Replacement

  • Lie on your back while resting in bed.
  • Keep a pillow between your thighs to prevent your knees from touching, especially if you lie on your side.

 

 

After a total hip replacement, scoot to the edge of the bed or chair before standing.

Use care when standing up.

Standing Up from a Bed or Chair

  • Scoot to the edge of the bed or chair before standing.
  • Keep your your leg that was operated on in front of the other when getting up from a chair or bed.
  • Avoid low beds.

 

 

 

 

After hip replacement surgery, sit in a firm chair, higher than knee height, with arm rests.

Sit up straight in a firm chair.

Sitting

  • Sit in chairs higher than knee height.
  • Sit in a firm, straight-back chair with arm rests.
  • Do not sit on soft chairs, rocking chairs, sofas, or stools.

 

 

 

Walking After Total Hip Replacement Surgery

  • Continue to use your walker, crutches, or cane until your doctor says you can stop.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and have non-skid soles.
  • Get up and move around every hour. Take short, frequent walks.
  • Be careful on uneven ground or wet surfaces.
  • Maintain your weight-bearing status as instructed until your doctor or therapist tells you otherwise.
  • Avoid pivoting your operated leg. Take small steps when turning.

 

After a total hip replacement, be sure to use a raised toilet seat at and avoid twisting when going to the bathroom.

Use a raised toilet seat after a hip replacement.

Toileting

  • Use a raised toilet seat at or above knee height.
  • Avoid twisting during personal hygiene.

 

 

 

Bathing After Total Hip Replacement

  • When bathing after hip replacement surgery, use a tub bench and a long-handled scrub brush to wash your legs and feet.

    Take sponge baths or use a tub bench.

    Take sponge baths or purchase a tub bench. You may use a walk-in shower.

  • Do not bend or reach for the tub controls.
  • Do not bend or squat to wash your legs and feet. Use long-handled equipment to reach them.
  • Do not sit in the bottom of a regular bathtub. Use a tub seat or bench.

 

 

Dressing

  • Use long-handled equipment to get dressed.
  • Sit down when passing clothing over your feet.
  • Do not bend over, raise your legs, or cross your legs when you get dressed.

 

Household Chores After Total Hip Replacement Surgery

  • Use long-handled reachers, mops, brooms, or dustpans to do simple chores that involve bending, stooping, or twisting (such as washing floors, dusting low tables, or making beds).
  • Do not bend to pick up objects from the floor. Use a long-handled reacher.
  • Do not run the vacuum cleaner or sweeper.
  • Use a rolling cart to transport items.
  • Place items you use often above knee level or on the top shelf of your refrigerator.
  • Slide items along the kitchen counter.
  • Sit while preparing food.

 

Riding in a Car After Hip Replacement

  • Do not drive until your doctor says you may.
  • Do not enter your car while standing on a curb or step.
  • Avoid long car rides. Get up and walk around every two hours.
  • Avoid cars with deep bucket seats or low seats. Sit on a pillow to raise the seat height.

Sexual Relations After Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Do not feel as though you have to avoid sexual relations. You do need to take certain precautions concerning your position.

Discuss this with your doctor or therapist.

Learn more about hip pain from UPMC Orthopaedic Care.

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UPMC Orthopaedic Care

A nationally recognized leader in advanced orthopaedics, UPMC Orthopaedic Care offers comprehensive services for the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions. Our extensive group of orthopaedic physicians and staff develop comprehensive management and treatment plans for our patients, including some of the latest diagnostic and imaging technologies and the most advanced surgical techniques. Read More