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 Protecting Your Hip

Women holding sore hip

A key part of a good recovery will be to follow the list of recommendations you will receive while you are in hospital after your hip replacement surgery.

Follow these five rules, to protect your hip, help your muscles heal and work well, and keep your new hip in place.

You should follow these rules for six to eight weeks after hip replacement surgery, or until your doctor tells you to stop.

Rule # 1

DO NOT BEND from the hip or waist past 90 degrees when you are sitting, standing or lying. Do not reach your hands past your knees.

As a reference point, 90 degrees is an “L” shaped angle between your  upper body and your thigh, so you should never bend so that the angle between the two is less than 90 degrees.

Do not bend 

Rule # 2

DO NOT CROSS your legs at the knees or ankles while lying or sitting down. Keep your legs apart.

Do not use your foot to remove the shoe from your other foot. Do not use your other foot to lift your operated leg into bed. There are adaptive aids for this purpose like a long handled shoehorn and a leg lifting device.

Do not cross 

Rule #3

DO NOT TWIST your operated leg inwards or outwards from the hip. Your shoulders, hips and knees should be in line at all times. 

When lying, try to keep your knee pointing straight up. When sitting, try to keep your knee pointed straight ahead.

You can put a pillow or roll by your ankles to stop your legs from twisting outwards when are sleeping.

Rule #4

DO NOT sit in low chairs. Sit on a high, firm chair with a seat height that is HIGHER than your knees. You can use a high density foam cushion to increase the chair height.

Rule #5

Follow the weight-bearing instructions you are given when walking. Your therapist will let you know how much weight your doctor wants you to put on your leg.