Do you have hip replacement surgery scheduled in the near future? If so, there’s no time like the present to start planning your recovery. In the long term, your new hip will likely give you added mobility and may help you become much more active.
In the short term, though, you may have a difficult time getting around. Hip replacement recovery can take as long as six months. In the first several weeks after surgery, you may need a wheelchair or you might have to rely on a cane or walker. In those early weeks, it’s a good idea to have a friend or family member present to help you out.
After a few weeks, you might be able to walk without assistance, but you could still have some mobility limitations. For instance, you could have trouble getting out of seats, as the act of standing can put pressure on the hips. You might have difficulty turning your body, bending over, or reaching for items.
The good news is that there are a number of items
that can make life much easier. You may want to invest in these items now so you have them available and ready to use when you start the recovery process. Below are four mobility aids that could be a big help as you recover from hip replacement surgery:
After your surgery, you will likely find that even the most basic movements are painful or maybe even impossible. For instance, grabbing a can of soup from the cabinet or reaching for an article of clothing from a drawer could be a challenge.
Eventually, you will be able to complete those movements just fine. Just after surgery, though, your new hip may not be strong enough to bend or reach. That’s where a reacher or grabber can be a big help.
A reacher is essentially a pole that is a few feet long, with a grip on one end and a handle on the other. If you can’t reach an object, simply use the reacher. Pull the handle and the grip will clasp around the object for you.
No bending. No reaching. No relying on others for help.
Another challenge after hip replacement surgery is turning in your chair. Your hip won’t yet have the flexibility to allow you to turn or pivot while you are in a seated position.
That may not seem like a big deal, but consider how often you turn your legs when you’re in a chair. You probably do it when you sit down and get up, especially if you’re seated at a table. You may do it to talk to someone else in the room or to reach and pick up an object. You may simply swing your legs to get comfortable.
A swivel cushion helps you pivot your body more easily. You set it on the chair and sit on it, just as you would with any other cushion. However, when you turn your body, the cushion will spin, thereby doing all the hard work for you. A swivel cushion may not work on some soft surfaces, but it is very effective on chairs with hard surfaces, such as those at a kitchen table.
Shoe and Sock Aids
During your recovery, you may find that the hardest task is also one of the simplest ones. What is it? Putting on your shoes and socks. Unfortunately, for many who are recovering from hip replacement, putting on shoes and socks is nearly impossible.
Fortunately, you can do the job with a couple of simple devices. The first is a sock aid, which has a plastic plate that is attached to a rope. You put the plate in your sock, and then use the rope to slide the plate and sock over your foot and up your leg.
For your shoes, you can use an extra-long shoe horn. You simply place your foot into the shoe and then use the shoe horn to wedge in the back of your foot. You can find many shoe horns that are up to two feet long, which should be enough to help you get into your shoes without bending over.
Bed Assist Handle
Once you’re up and moving around, your biggest challenge may be getting in and out of bed each day. As simple as it may be, getting out of bed requires several movements. You have to sit up. You have to swing your legs to the side of the bed. And you have to stand. All of those movements put pressure on your hip.
A bed assist handle may relieve some of the pressure. Bed assist handles come with long legs and feet so the handle can rest comfortable on the floor next to your bed. When you’re ready to get up, you simply reach out, grab the handle, and pull yourself to a standing or sitting position. That puts the pressure on your upper body rather than on your hip.
There are numerous other mobility aids that could make your recovery much easier. For more information, contact us at Med Mart. We welcome the opportunity to help you find the right aids for your recovery and to help you get back to peak condition.