Life after hip replacement surgery

Most people who have hip replacement surgery experience:

  • Less pain after recovery from surgery.
  • Better ability to move after recovery from surgery.
  • Improvements in activities of daily living and quality of life.

Talk to your doctor about exercises that can help increase muscle strength and physical fitness without injuring the new hip.

Most doctors recommend avoiding high-impact activities, such as basketball, jogging, and vigorous tennis. These activities may lead to excessive wear of the new hip or cause loosening of its parts.

Remember to take precautions to avoid falls and injuries.  Here are some tips to help prevent falls outdoors and when you are away from home:

  • Use a cane or walker if needed.
  • Wear shoes that provide support and have thin nonslip soles.
  • Walk on grass when sidewalks are slippery; in winter, put salt, sand, or kitty litter on icy sidewalks.
  • Stop at curbs and check their height before stepping up or down.

Some ways to help prevent falls indoors are:

  • Keep rooms free of clutter, especially on floors. Avoid running electrical cords across walking areas.
  • Use plastic or carpet runners on slippery floors.
  • Wear shoes, even when indoors, that provide support and have thin nonslip soles. Avoid wearing slippers and athletic shoes with deep treads.
  • If you have a pet, watch where they are to avoid tripping over them.
  • Do not walk in socks, stockings, or slippers.
  • Be careful on polished floors that are slick and dangerous, especially when wet, and walk on plastic or carpet runners when possible.
  • Be sure carpets and area rugs have skid-proof backing or are tacked to the floor. Use double-stick tape to keep rugs from slipping.
  • Be sure stairs are well lit and have rails on both sides.
  • Install grab bars on bathroom walls near the tub, shower, and toilet.
  • Use a rubber bathmat or slip-proof seat in the shower or tub.
  • Use nightlights or keep a flashlight next to your bed in case you need to get up at night.
  • Add more lights in rooms. Install ceiling fixtures or lamps that can be turned on by a switch near the door.
  • Use a sturdy stepstool with a handrail and wide steps.
  • Keep a cordless phone or cell phone with you so that you do not have to rush to the phone when it rings. In addition, if you fall, you can call for help.
  • Consider having a personal emergency-response system; you can use it to call for help if you fall.

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