Making life easier following hip or knee replacement surgery

Knee and Hip
Many clients come into the showroom and talk about the rest time they are going to have in bed following their hip or knee surgery……umm sorry to disappoint but there might not be as much rest time as you think!

These days movement is the key and Physiotherapist’s will get you up either the same or next day following surgery!  Early careful and prescribed activity aids your recovery and helps your knee or hip regain its strength and movement.  Of course it may hurt a little, eeek and initially every day activities you will find harder, from sitting on the toilet to picking up that spare change you dropped on the floor. However there are a few modified ways to do things and some useful products to make these usual simple things that little bit easier to do.

Car transfers

You’ve said goodbye to the lovely staff at the hospital and are being picked up by a friend or relative, you get to the car, how are you going to attempt this?

  • Get your friend/relative to slide back the car seat as much as possible, even reclining the seat may help a little
  • Avoid being picked up by someone in a very low or very high vehicle
  • Sit on the seat and swing your legs in, your ‘chauffeur’ may need to help lift your leg in for you. Sitting on a plastic bag can help slide your bottom round more easily or using a Swivel Cushion.
  • Getting out of the car.  You may need assistance to move your affected leg and swing them out of the car.  Avoid using a someone to pull you up, this can cause injury to the other person or yourself.  Having a product such as the Handybar may really help to stand you up.

Stairs

You get home and you forgot you had a flight of steps to get up to the front door.  Hopefully you will have practised the stairs with your physiotherapist prior to discharge.

  • When going up the steps, first step up with your non-operative leg, followed by the operative leg.
  • When going down steps, first step down with your operative leg, followed by the non-operative leg.
  • An easy way to remember this is ‘Good leg to heaven, Bad leg to hell’

You should never use a walker on stairs but a walking stick can assist, particularly if you do not have rails.  Ensure you have someone close by if you feel unsteady.

Sitting and getting up

Just the journey from the hospital and getting up those stairs has puffed you out, time for a little sit down. That soft squishy sofa looks inviting…..

  • Stop! Avoid sitting on very low sofas…..as you won’t get up!!
  • If your sofa or lounge chair is too low then look at getting chair raisers to raise the height.  Following hip surgery this is specifically important as hips should be at 90 degrees, knees should not be higher than your hips when seated.  A firm chair with straight back and armrests is important, if it is height adjustable even better, check out our range of height adjustable chairs

Toilet

No sooner have you sat down on then you realise you need to get to the toilet but it looks so low, how am I going to sit on that?

Dressing

It’s time for bed, getting undressed may not be as tricky as getting dressed.

  • Always sit to get undressed or dressed as you may be more unbalanced.
  • Using an Easy Reacher or a Dressing Stick can assist with reaching to pull knickers/boxers or pants on.  A Sock Aid to help you put on your socks. A Long Handled Shoe Horn to assist you with putting on your shoes.

Bathing or Shower

  • If you have had hip surgery you may have more precautions (advice of movements to avoid) so people with showers over the bath be careful of this if you are stepping over into a bath it may mean you are over that advised 90 degrees angle.  Look at our bath transfer benches or bath and shower board options.
  • As for actual baths they will be a no go at this time due to the physical difficulty of getting in an out however if you really need that bath check out the Orca Bath Lift
  • Those who have a shower a simple shower chair will do the trick.

Bed

It has been a long day, time for bed!

  • Again if your bed is too low this may be an issue, bed raisers can assist.
  • Sit on the edge of the bed; place at least one hand on the bed as you lower yourself. Remember to keep the operated leg further ahead to avoid straining it.
  • Get into bed leading with the operated leg if possible.
  • Bring your legs onto the bed while lowering your upper body with your hands then elbows.  If you feel you need something sturdy to hold on to a bed stick may help you get in and out more easily.

Sleep Tight!

If you require any other further assistance prior to, or following your surgery, then do not hesitate to speak with us.  We also have some of the equipment mentioned in hire for temporary use, check out our hire information.