Preparing Your Home for Hip Surgery
Updated: Feb 6
5 simple (but important!) tips to prepare for your hip surgery that make recovery at home easier.
You've signed up for surgery, received your brace and crutches and arranged your time away from work and/or school. You've read through your surgery folder and now wonder, "What else can I do?"
Check out these "Top 5" tips to make recovery easier for both you and your family members:
Tip #1 - Get things off the floor
When you're using crutches it's easy to slip on obstacles like a throw rug, dog toy or loose clothes on the ground. Take some time to look around the high traffic areas of your home and put away anything that may become a tripping hazard. If you're not sure, imagine a friend's grandmother was coming over with her walker. What would you pick up or relocate to make it easier for her?
Tip #2 - Re-Organize to Avoid the Stairs
If you live in a two story (or more) home, consider where you will spend most of your time the first days after surgery and move items (clothes, books, toiletries) to be within easy reach or walking distance. Stairs can be both a hazard and a strain on your hip immediately after surgery, so minimizing how many times you go up and down them each day will reduce the risk of a fall or developing hip flexor tendonitis.
Tip #3 - Stock the Pantry and Freezer
Make mealtime easier by stocking up on healthy frozen foods and quick-cook pantry items if you will be doing food prep yourself. Consider ordering groceries through delivery services (ie Instacart) for the first few weeks after surgery to avoid long walks in the grocery store aisles and having to push a cart.
Tip #4 - Complete Self-Care and Beauty Maintenance
For ladies (and gents) who regularly have hair treatments, mani/pedis or other beauty rituals, plan your appointments in the week or two leading up to surgery rather than right after. Women should remove fake nails, gel or dip manicures for the day of surgery. In the six weeks after surgery you will be limited to sitting for no longer than 30 minutes to an hour which can make it difficult to get beauty rituals even if you are already comfortably driving and walking.
Tip #5 - Consider Pet and Child Care Options
Taking the dog out for a walk, running after a toddler or picking the kids up from sports practice will all need to be done by someone else after surgery while your hip is healing. Consider what kind of help you may need from family, friends, or hired help and arrange it in advance. It's always better to overestimate how long you will need help for rather than underestimate and be stuck in a situation that is dangerous to your pets or children (or your healing hip). Pushing too hard after hip surgery can lead to scar tissue formation, hip flexor tendonitis and even failure for the labrum or capsule to heal.
If in doubt, ask your surgeon
We hope you find some of these tips helpful for your upcoming surgery. Everyone's situation is unique and what worked for someone else during recovery may not work or be applicable to you. If in doubt, call or message your doctor's office for advice.