Skip to main content Skip to site map link

 Getting In and Out of Bed

Patient in hospital bed

This section teaches you how to get in and out of bed by providing step by step instructions and a video clip.

The first day after surgery, your nurse or therapist will show you the right way to get in and out of bed. If you are a hip replacement patient, DO NOT sit up in bed and reach forward to get things at the end of the bed. You can get things safely by using a long handled reacher.  If you are a knee replacement patient, you may sit and reach as tolerated.

To safely get in bed, follow these steps:

  1. Using your walking aid, back up until you feel the bed behind you.
  2. Extend your operated leg, and sit on the edge of the bed.
  3. Move your walking aid out of the way.
  4. Using your arms for support, slide your bottom across the bed, and bring both legs up onto the bed (lift operated leg onto the bed if need be).
  5. Position yourself on your back, or on your non-operated side. Do not cross your legs.
  6. Place a pillow between your legs. Body pillows work very well.

To get out of bed, follow these steps:

  1. Remove top sheets and pillows.
  2. Bend your non-operated leg and using your elbows as support, slide your bottom to bring yourself to the edge of the bed.
  3. From a semi-lying position push up on your elbows and hands. Do not cross your legs.
  4. Slide your hips and legs over to the edge of the bed.
  5. Swing your body around to sit up.
  6. Extend your operated leg and stand up, using your stronger leg for support.

To watch a video clip of this activity, please see below.  Please note that you may be prompted to install Microsoft's video software called Silverlight to view the video.