Falls and accidents can happen to anyone, but patients who have been hospitalized, weak, and had recent surgeries are at greater risk. This is especially true for those who have recently had hip surgery. By taking proper precautions you can reduce the risk of injury. Here are some tips on how to keep safe after hip surgery.
Start with the Basics
The first thing you can do is adhere to some general home safety practices for all households. Make sure that you have proper lighting throughout your home. Remove clutter near rugs. Secure your pets to keep them from getting underfoot. Install handrails on all stairs. And keep your floors dry to prevent slipping, especially in the bathroom.
Stairs and Ramps
When you return to your community, you may be faced with obstacles. During an inpatient rehabilitation stay, your therapist will prepare you to handle the challenges that may arise. It’s not uncommon for people to use equipment for walking assistance immediately after hip surgery. You may be issued a walker to aid in dealing with obstacles. For your safety and balance, remember to remain close to your walker at all times. After an operation, your physician may issue you hip precautions to follow, so there may be positions and movements that you should avoid. When going up stairs, you may want to lead with your stronger leg, but when stepping down, use your operated leg.
When approaching your bed, stand with your back to the bed, then back up until the back of your good knee touches the bed. You will bring your operated leg forward. Remember to move your body as one, and do not twist. Your therapist may issue you a leg lifter to help you get your operated leg onto the bed. Keep your walker within easy reach of your bed.
It can be helpful to put the seat as far back as it will go. Keep your hips above your knees, especially if the seat is low. Stand with your back to the car, feel with the back of your good knee and sit, but watch your head. Finally, lift your legs one at a time.
Tub Bench Transfers
Install grab bars in your shower or tub for support as you get in and out. With your walker, back up until you feel the tub bench behind you. Reach back for the bench with one hand first, then the other. Then sit down.
Using a Hip Kit
To protect your hip, you must learn safe ways to do daily tasks. This includes getting dressed and undressed. Be sure to continue to follow your hip precautions according to your surgery. Your therapist may have issued you a hip kit package with tools to help manage getting dressed. This may include long-handled equipment to remove and retrieve your socks. Pull your sock onto the front of the sock aid device, slip your foot into the sock, and then pull back on the sock aid.