Congratulations! You made it through your hip replacement surgery! 🎉
You’ve spent a few days in the hospital and now you’re finally ready to head home. Great!
But… wait - Home?! You might not have loved your hospital stay (most people don’t) but the hospital did have that handy bathroom rail, and that fully customizable bed that made it so much easier to get in and out of… not to mention around-the-clock nurses to help.
The truth is, coming home after a total hip replacement (THR) can be really intimidating. So here are a few quick tips from our expert physical therapy team to help make the transition to home smoother. Note: you'll want these done prior to the surgery.
Tip 1) Put away the rugs.
Rugs are the kind of thing that anyone can trip over, all the more so for folks who just had a hip replacement! Rugs curl at the edges or snag and run, messing up your balance and making it easier to trip. So unless your rug is thin and truly securely fastened, we recommend you roll them up and get them out of sight (this is a great time to send them out for that cleaning you’ve been putting off...) until you get your stability back.
Tip 2) Indulge in a fantastic bar stool!
Keep passing the best wing-backed bar stools at Home Goods but never had an excuse to buy? Now’s your chance! Taller chairs will make it much easier for you to sit and get back up. It’s totally okay to invest in a few pieces of furniture that make your recovery period easier. This is suggested for the bathroom as well. While a bar stool doesn’t make so much sense in there, an elevated seat for the toilet will make the whole experience much more comfortable - and don’t worry, it’s not permanent.
Tip 3) Declutter (spring cleaning time!)
If you’ve been looking for an excuse (other than hosting Thanksgiving dinner) to reign in the knick-knacks, now’s your chance. Look to the floors and walkways for anything that takes up space or creates clutter. The cleaner and more open your space is, the easier it will be to traverse (and a bit more soothing on your sensitive post-surgical mind space as well).
Tip 4) Replace your lightbulbs.
Impaired vision combined with a wobbly walk is a deadly combo. This is the moment to make sure all your lightbulbs are fresh and all your dark corners are well lit (and that the lighting switches are accessible). A well-lit space can make a significant difference in your ability to move around confidently.
Tip 5) Spruce up your bathtub.
Nothing is more treacherous than a wet and slippery bathroom. Preempt the danger by investing in a shower chair (one designed to be secure, supportive, and non-slip is best) and some thin non-slip shower mats for the bathroom floor. A desire to confidently and independently bathe oneself post-surgery is something we frequently hear from our patients. These are two tools that will get you there quickly.