After you have been discharged home after total hip replacement, make sure that you continue taking your prescribed medications to control pain and prevent blood clots. You will also need to keep on doing the exercises designed by your physical therapist to strengthen your new hip.
When walking, use your crutches or walker until your doctor tells you that you can stop using them. Learn to take small steps and to move carefully especially when walking on wet or uneven surfaces, so that you do not dislocate your hip. When going up stairs, make it a point to first step with the leg that did not have surgery and when coming down, first step with the leg that was operated on. In addition, ensure that you always wear shoes with nonskid soles and steer clear from slippers that can make you fall.
When you are sitting, make sure that you keep your feet pointed forward and avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time. Further, avoid sitting on low chairs or sofas in order to ensure that your hips are always higher than your knees. Measure your furniture to confirm that it is at least 18 inches from the floor and if it is not, place a stiff cushion on it before you sit down. When getting up from your high seat, always slide to the edge of the chair and use the armrests for support as you stand.
When getting dressed, first put your trousers and socks on the leg that had surgery. Learn to use devices to assist you, like a reacher, dressing stick, or long-handled shoehorn to avoid bending over too much or raising your legs too high.
Finally, always keep your feet about six inches apart and do not turn your toes inward or cross your ankles when you are sitting, standing or lying down to avoid popping your new joint out of its socket.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer