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Hip Replacement – Aids and equipment to assist recovery and activity post hip replacement

July 6, 2022

You’ve had hip replacement surgery which has replaced damaged parts of the hip with metal or plastic parts, aimed at reducing pain, improving mobility, helping daily living activities and improving quality of life.

Recovery and rehabilitation to strengthen the new joint and improve flexibility can be across 3 months and the full benefits should be felt in 6-12 months.

Firstly, most people will be encouraged to walk with the help of a walking support soon after surgery. And, importantly, you will be advised on how to take care of your new hip and how to avoid hip dislocation. The key is to avoid bending, crossing legs, internally rotating the hip.

The following provides advice on what to avoid, plus some assistive devices and changes to make around your home that can prevent hip dislocation.

  1. Walking support: Soon after hip surgery most people will be encouraged to walk with the help of a
    walking support. The best mobility device for you would be determined from an assessment by a
    physiotherapist, and may be, a cane, crutches, or walker.

  2. Avoid bending forward at the hip, which creates an angle of fewer than 90 degrees. This means:
    Not to bring your knee higher than your hip,
    That your thigh should be parallel to the floor.
    Not to sit on low chairs, beds or toilets.
    Not to lean forward while sitting, or as you sit down.
    Not to bend to your feet to tie shoelaces or put on a sock.
    Not to attempt picking something up off the floor.

  3. Crossing your operated leg over the other one: You should not cross your leg with the new hip over
    the other one.

  4. Walking or lying pigeon-toed (internal rotation of the hip): After a posterior approach total hip replacement, you should not rotate your hip inward. This means that your toes should be kept straight ahead or slightly rotated outwards when walking, sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Assistive devices that you should consider are:
  • Transfers sitting to standing to sitting: hand rails and chair arm rests
  • The chair/settee: Raised wedge cushion
  • The toilet: Raised toilet seat; Over toilet frame; hand rails for support.
  • Position in bed: Avoid side lying by using bed wedges & cushions
  • Shower: Shower stool; hand rails; non slip suction mat; bath board;
  • Avoiding bending: long handled pick up tongs; long handled reachers; shoe, sock & stocking aids; elastic shoelaces;
  • Carrying items while using walking aids: traymobile; carry bags;

The Mobility Store always recommends you consult a suitably qualified health professional such as an occupational therapist for additional advice on your specific situation.