Items Will I Need At Home After Surgery?
Everyone has slightly different needs.
There are some basic items almost everyone needs and then
there are things that some people want and others just don’t
Crutches - Normally crutches
are supplied by the hospital. I used elbow crutches and
they are much easier to use than normal under the arm
crutches. Overseas hospitals use elbow crutches while US
hospital still normally use old fashioned under the arm
crutches. If you have to be on crutches for a long time, I
would suggest getting a pair of elbow crutches or at least a
pair of the more modern underarm crutches available from
many internet shopping stores.
Walker – some people that have
bi-lateral surgery or special hip problems are required to
use a walker. Whether you use crutches or a walker is up to
your orthopedic surgeon.
– Canes are often used after a crutch is no longer needed.
A cane is a handy method of still having support if
required. People often get tired on long walks and find it
easy to carry a cane with them to offer assistance. A cane
offers much less assistance than a crutch, but it does take
weight off the operated leg. It is estimated that a cane
will take almost 60% of the weight off the operated leg when
used properly. A cane is used on the opposite side of the
operated leg, is moved forward with the operated leg as it
takes a step and planted about the same position in front of
your body as your step.
Toilet Riser – a toilet riser or
potty chair with arms is a must after hip resurfacing
surgery. Most patients are required to follow the 90 degree
rule and sitting or rising from a normal height toilet seat
will break the rule. Inexpensive toilet risers that look
like big life savers are available at any drug store or
discount store for about $20. Fancier versions or the potty
chair with arms are much more expensive. The one problem
with the plastic, inexpensive risers is they are not very
big. A large man sitting on a toilet riser does not have
much room to do his business. The inner diameter of the
toilet risers is very small. They are fine for women, but
often a problem for men. Men should check out their options
before surgery to make sure they can comfortable use the
Many people like to have one or two reachers in case
they need to pick something up from the floor. If you have
a helper at home, you might not need one. You can also bend
down and pick something up from the floor by placing your
operated leg behind you and bending the other leg. I did
that quite often when I had to feed dogs or pick anything
up. Of course, you need to be careful not to lose your
balance. The reason you need to place your leg in back of
you when bending is to prevent yourself from breaking the 90
||Sock Putter On-er
||Tub Grab Bar
Some people find the sock putter on-er a great help.
If you have a helper, you can probably get away without one.
If you don’t go sockless and don’t have a helper, you will
find the sock helper useful because again you are not to
break the 90 degree rule. It is impossible to reach down to
your feet to put socks on without breaking the 90 degree
By Toilet – I had my husband install a grab bar
on the wall next to my toilet. I found it to be a great
help in getting on and off the toilet. This is not required,
but I am glad to have it installed. I have back problems
and it helps to have a nice grab bar by the toilet.
by Shower or Tub – I found myself to be very
unsteady for a few weeks after surgery. Getting in and out
of the shower without help was a problem. I was 61 and not a
spry as a younger person, but felt I needed to be very
careful not to fall. A Grab Bar by the shower or tub would
be a great help for most people, even if they have not
recently experienced surgery.
Bed – If you have a low bed, you will want to
consider a way to raise your bed. Many of the newer beds
and mattresses are fairly high and you can get in and out of
bed without breaking the 90 degree rule. If your bed is low,
raising your bed with special risers or just bricks or wood
blocks, help getting in and out of the bed without breaking
the 90 degree rule. Be careful that your risers are secure
and your bed won’t slip off of them. Test them out before
Sheets – These are certainly not required, but
some ladies like to use them because they are slippery and
it makes sliding on and off the bed much easier. Some ladies
just wear silky PJs to allow them to rotate easily when
getting in and out of bed. Men sometimes like to wear nylon
warm up pants so they can rotate or slide in and out of bed
Foam Mattress Pad
Ice packs are often used by
many hip surgery patients. Ice helps reduce swelling and
also pain. There are many varieties of commercial ice packs
available that you can freeze in your freezer. Some
people just use ice cubes in a plastic bag while others have
used frozen bags of peas since they conform to your hip. The
peas can be frozen over and over – Just don’t eat them after
they have been thawed and frozen too many times!
Garbage Bags – Sitting on a plastic garbage bag
when getting in and out of the car or bed makes it easier to
rotate you body after surgery. It is often difficult to move
your operated leg and body shortly after surgery.
Type Recliner-Lounge Chair – Most people have a
difficult time sleeping after hip surgery. Many people need
to lie on their backs and it is often difficult to sleep in
that position for days at a time. Many people find sleeping
or napping in a nice recliner is a great help after surgery.
I slept many nights in my Lazy Boy and took many naps in my
favorite chair after surgery. Many people like the La Fuma
recliner chairs after surgery. It is a personal choice as
to which chair works best, but having some type of recliner
is a define help to most people.
Shoes – Many people find it much easier to use
slip on shoes after surgery. You don’t have to worry about
getting a helper to put them on and tie them for you.
Stool Softener– A stool softener
or similar product is a must after surgery. Many people
start to take them just before surgery. The anesthesia and
narcotic based pain meds often cause severe constipation.
Extra pillows to put under your legs while you are lying in
bed. Extra pillows under your legs make lying on your back
feel much better. Also many doctors suggest you keep your
legs elevated while laying down to help circulation and
prevent blood clots. Dr. De Smet always suggests “toes above
your nose when lying down.”
– An extra pair of TEDS comes in handy if you doctor
suggests you wear them. An extra pair allows you to wash
one pair while you are wearing the other pair. You
definitely need a helper to put TEDS on. Some people are
able to use the sock putter oner to put them on, but I have
heard it is quite a struggle.
Mattress Pad – Foam mattress pads on top of your
mattress help make lying on your operated side and even your
back much more comfortable. The closed cell foam tends to
be too hot for many people, while others like the neoprene
type egg carton foam.