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 Going to the Bathroom


This section teaches you how to use a toilet or commode by providing step by step instructions and a video clip.  After your surgery, your nurse or therapist will teach you how to safely use the toilet or commode.

In the early days after your hip or knee surgery, you may sponge bathe at the bedside or sink. You may or may not take a shower during your hospital stay, depending upon your condition, your progress and length of stay and facility resources.  Ask your nurse if and when you can have a shower. For instructions on showering and bathing, click here.

Using the Toilet or Commode

You may need a raised toilet seat and toilet armrests. Make sure the toilet paper is within easy reach.

To sit on a toilet or commode, follow these steps:

  1. Back up until you feel the edge of the toilet or commode touching the back of your leg.
  2. Lower your clothing out of the way (elastic waists work well).
  3. Slide your operated leg forward reaching for the arms of the seat behind you.
  4. Lower yourself down onto the seat slowly and gently.
  5. Reposition yourself to the back of the seat.

Note: When in an upright position, your knee should always be lower than your hip.

To get up from a toilet or commode, follow these steps:

  1. Move to the front edge of the toilet or commode.
  2. Slide your operated leg forward, with your hands on the arm rests of your walker.
  3. Raise your body up by pushing down with your arms.
  4. Reposition your clothing.
  5. Use your walking aid for balance and support.

To watch a video clip on how to get on and off a toilet or commode safely, please see below.  Please note that you may be prompted to install Microsoft's video software called Silverlight to view the video.