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What are the dos and don'ts after a hip replacement?

You have an important role in caring for your “new” hip:

  • Do use crutches or a walker to assist with walking; be safe, falls can be disastrous
  • Do use pillows between your legs or under your knee on the side of your new hip replacement in bed to keep your operated leg out to the side
  • Do continue to wear your TED stockings. A second pair can be provided for you at the time of your discharge so you have a pair to wear while washing the other pair
  • Do continue the exercises that you have been instructed in by the physical therapist
  • Do use assistive devices to put on shoes and socks
  • Do use an elevated toilet seat or bedside commode.You may purchase one from a local medical supply store or possibly borrow one through your local community organizations
  • Do avoid constipation. While you are taking narcotics, you may need to take a stool softener and a laxative

There are certain movements that place stress on your new hip and should be avoided until you are instructed to do otherwise by your doctor:

  • Do not overdo it; plan your activities with frequent rest periods.
  • Do not bend your hip more than ninety degrees; do not sit in low or overstuffed sofas and chairs; do not sit in bucket seats in cars; do not pick up items from the floor – use a grabbing device.
  • Do not cross your legs
  • Do not drive a car until authorized by your doctor
  • Do not lift heavy objects
  • Do not have sexual intercourse until after your six-week follow-up visit and your doctor has given you permission; intercourse will be uncomfortable the first weeks after surgery
  • Do not bathe in a bathtub or hot tub, swim in a pool, lake, or ocean until your physician gives you permission
  • Do not play tennis, downhill ski, water ski, run, jog, or do other demanding physical activities that require quick starts and stops without first consulting your physician