After hip replacement, patients are hospitalized for 3-5 days. After being discharged from the hospital, most of them go home, where they undergo further rehabilitation. Naturally, operated people are interested in many questions. And the most important of them: how to sit properly after hip arthroplasty.



Before discharge.

TBS angle not less than 90 degrees

The main rule to be followed in the postoperative period concerns the degree of flexion of the leg in the hip joint. According to the doctors’ recommendations, the leg in the operated joint is allowed to bend at least 90 degrees. Moreover, this applies to sitting both on a chair and on a bed, sofa, in a car  , etc.

A schematic representation of a corner.

Experts advise especially carefully to monitor the degree of flexion of the limb for 8-12 weeks after surgery. Indeed, during this period, the muscles are still not strong enough to properly support the bones of the pelvis and hip. Because of this, there is a high risk of postoperative fractures and displacement of the hip joint prosthesis.



High stools after endoprosthetic

To prevent excessive flexion of the hip joint, it is recommended to sit on high bar-type stools in the postoperative period. It is better to keep your legs close, distributing the weight in such a way that most of the load falls on the healthy leg. In this case, the body can be supported with the help of hands, resting them on the edges of the chair.

Height-adjustable medical chair.

For more convenience, the operated leg can be pulled forward.

Of course, high bar stools are not found in every home. But that’s okay. After all, you can equip ordinary chairs for seating by placing solid pillows on them. The recommended height of the seating surface is 10 centimeters above the level of the knee joints.How to sleep properly after hip replacement surgery

How to sit in a chair, on a bed, on a toilet

In the first 8-12 weeks after arthroplasty, it is allowed to sit only on hard surfaces. In this case, you need to ensure that while sitting, the pelvis is always above the level of the knees, and the angle in the hip joint is more than 90 degrees.

As for soft armchairs, sofas and beds, it is better not to sit on them at all. Indeed, under the weight of the body, they will necessarily “fall through”, and the pelvis will fall below the permissible level. And this can have extremely unpleasant consequences.

One of the options for the toilet bowl.

During the rehabilitation period, it is necessary to equip a toilet room. Namely, to purchase and attach a special elevation to the toilet seat. It will allow you to sit on the toilet in such a way that the permissible angle in the hip joint is maintained. To make it easier to get up from the toilet, handrails can be attached to the walls in the toilet for easy gripping.


How to get into a car when returning from the hospital

When discharged from the hospital, each patient is worried about getting home safely and not injuring the operated leg. This is logical, because a trip in a car forces you to take an uncomfortable position, in which it is especially easy to injure the hip joint.

How can you get there without hurting your sore leg?

In fact, you can get home from the hospital in a regular passenger car, sitting in the front seat next to the driver. Before sitting down, the chair should be pushed back as far as possible and its back recline. You can put a firm pillow on the seat itself to make it taller. It is necessary to sit in the car with your back forward, keeping your lower limbs straight out. Leaning against the back of the seat and keeping your feet together, they should be slowly put into the passenger compartment.

Image of correct fit using the example of the driver. The passenger must adhere to the same parameters.

As for self-driving a car, you can think about it no earlier than 6-8 weeks after the operation.

What is the risk of an angle less than 90 degrees

Sitting in an inappropriate posture can lead to dangerous complications in the postoperative period. For example, to dislocation of the endoprosthesis, which is the displacement of its head in relation to the acetabular component. In this case, the patient will need a closed or open reduction of the dislocation. And if he does not seek help in time, then there is a high probability that the patient will need to undergo a second operation.

Dislocation on x-ray.

With improper sitting, another, even more, dangerous consequence is possible – a periprosthetic fracture of the femur. Most patients with postoperative fractures undergo a second operation, during which the bone is strengthened with extra-bone plates or even the endoprosthesis is changed.



Forbidden sitting positions

While sitting, it is strictly forbidden to tilt the body forward and even more so to lean your elbows on your knees (especially when sitting on the toilet). Also, you can not cross your legs, squat, throw one leg over the other, lounging in too soft chairs and sofas. As we said, neglecting safety precautions can have dire consequences.

Let’s sum up

  1. For the first 8-12 weeks after replacing the hip joint, sit only on high solid chairs. The angle in the hip joints should not be less than 90 degrees.
  2. In the postoperative period, it is forbidden to cross your legs, squat, bend forward, and even more so to rest your elbows on your knees. Also, you cannot sit in low soft chairs, sofas and beds with a “sinking” mattress.
  3. Returning home from the hospital, you should sit in the front seat of the car, having previously moved it as far back as possible. First you need to sit in a chair with your back forward, and then carefully place your legs in the salon, keeping them straight together.
  4. In preparing the home for the return of the operated person, purchase and install a toilet seat ramp. It will allow the patient to sit on the toilet without the risk of injuring their leg.
  5. Improper sitting in the postoperative period can lead to dangerous consequences: paraprosthetic fractures and displacement of the components of the endoprosthesis.
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1 Comment

Knee endoprosthetics - a chance to restore limb function - Arthritisco · September 17, 2020 at 7:38 am

[…] In the postoperative period, the knee takes longer to recover than the hip. This is due to the fact that the operation is technically more difficult. The postoperative suture is located just in the place of strong stretching of the skin, which also complicates the recovery process because you need to actively work on flexion-extension of the limb.How to Sit Correctly and Safely after Hip Arthroplasty […]

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