Getting Into a Car
Here are six easy steps for the best way to get in and out of a car after your surgery. Please note: this technique is designed for those following hip precautions after surgery; however, the same technique will also work for people before and after knee replacement surgery to make this activity easier.
Have your driver open the car door. Move the bottom of the seat back as far as it will go, and recline the backrest.
Tip: If it helps, place a cushion on the seat to make it higher. Placing a plastic bag on top of the cushion will help you slide onto the seat more easily.
With the car door fully opened, use your walking aid to back up to the car until you feel the base of the car against your leg.
Put your right hand on the frame of the car and place your left hand on the car dashboard. Then slowly lower yourself onto the seat, sliding your operated leg forward so you are sideways on the seat.
Lean back and slide your bottom across the seat.
While leaning back, turn into the car keeping your shoulders, knees and hips in line with each other as a unit. Your driver may help you lift your operated leg into the car if needed. Do not cross your legs.
Tip: Make sure the seat is reclined and pushed back so that you can clear your operated leg through the doorway without bending it more than 90 degrees. If you have to lift your operated leg in order to clear the door, by leaning back on your seat you are keeping that hip angle between your trunk and upper thigh open.
Do not sit fully upright or bend your operated leg more than 90 degrees. Now you just need to buckle up your seatbelt and you are ready to go!
Tip: Do not bring the backrest fully upright. If the driver needs to stop suddenly, this will protect you from too much bending.
To watch a video clip of this activity, see below. Please note that you may be prompted to install Microsoft's video software called Silverlight to view the video.