Total Hip Replacement – Hip Tips

Here are some of the useful practices that I have learned since my recent total hip replacement 10 days ago.

Hip Tips – Weeks 0-2

I hope some of these Hip Tips might be useful to other THR patients. I am not a medical person and don’t say they will work for you. My hope is that one or two of the things that have been successful for me may be good for your convalescence too.

1. Ice is nice. An ice pack or bag of peas, wrapped in a tea towel and applied gently to the operation site is cooling and somehow calming.

2. Keep a note of all the medicine that you take – the first few days are quite a blur! A notepad and pen in the tablet bags have been so useful. It’s also a good way to notice improvements and the reduction in medicine intake.

3. Eat little and often. It’s better to take most prescribed medicine with food (but always check your particular medical information sheets). I have eaten mainly plant-based foods because they are easy to prepare, lower in calories when I’m fairly inactive and easy for my body to digest (very helpful with the constipation issue too), allowing my liver to use its resources to break down all the medicines I’m ingesting. And, of course, I really love plant-based food!

4. Don’t overdo it! There is a fine line between restoring your mobility and overstretching yourself! I listen to my body and now know that I do need to rest every afternoon, horizontally, whether I sleep or not. If I do that, I can move around quite comfortably for the rest of the day.

5. A splendid nurse, Anne, taught me a good way to get in and out of bed. My right hip is the operated one. It has been the trickiest part of my day and night, but her method has helped me to be independent and safe in my transfers from vertical to horizontal. In my picture, it doesn’t show, but both hands are behind and taking a large amount of body weight so that I can pivot myself round onto the bed. Getting out of bed, I reverse it.

6. Do your exercises! It’s early days yet for me but the most common advice that I have been given has been to follow the advised exercises regularly – and I will keep it up.

7. Allow Dr Sleep to work its magic. Rest when your body tells yo too, even if you have only been up for a short time.

8. Be kind to yourself. You’ve undergone big surgery. Let others help you even though you struggle to relinquish your independence. It’s a team effort to get yourself back to the best ‘you’ you can be – and that will be sooner with ‘team’ support I reckon. Perhaps you can do some of the more peaceful things that you haven’t had time to do until now. Convalescence can be an opportunity! I have enjoyed painting.

9. Do you have a ‘grabber’? If the answer is no and you’ve recently had a THR, get one. I can’t get dressed without it. I can pull the bed covers on/ off my feet, pick up numerous miscellaneous items up from the floor and it’s good fun to reach for other people’s things when they are not looking – I’ve had hours of fun!!

In this image, I had to use my crutch to pick up my grabber!

10. Even though you may feel that you can negotiate your home without crutches, always keep them close. I would dream of venturing up or downstairs without one.

Take time to read my other blogs

I hope that this information is of use. If you have any ‘Hip Tips’ to share with me, I would love to receive them.  There are many other tips out there, SAGA being one of them. A couple of other blogs on this site consider my experience of Total Hip Replacement which, again may be of use to you or someone who know who is considering or has recently undergone the operation.

My best wishes to you!

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Published by Carol

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