Posted on June 26 2023
Undergoing a hip replacement surgery is a significant step towards improved mobility and quality of life. As a longtime physical therapist, I understand the importance of having a plan along with the right equipment readily available to aid in a successful recovery process. I recently completed a successful hip rehabilitation for my 80 yr old mother. In this post, I wanted to share a quick list of helpful items to have in the house after a hip replacement, ensuring a safe and comfortable rehabilitation journey. There is not a perfect one size-fits-all hip recovery kit for everyone (due to factors such as age, income, and geographic location). This is merely a list that made life a bit easier for us post hip surgery and we wanted to pass it along in hopes of assisting you after your hip surgery.
This was huge. Prior to surgery we made a few various healthy soups that we placed in single serving individual microwave containers ($10 for pack). We couldn't then just grab out of freezer and heat. Zero prep or kitchen hassle...minimal dishes= minimal work. Breakfast oatmeals....same way. Top it off with some fresh fruit (blueberries etc..) and she was on her way. Keep the food lean and low cal since your activity level will decrease during recovery. Packing on extra pounds will mean extra work in the long run.
Raised Toilet Seat:
A raised toilet seat minimizes the strain on your hip joint by reducing the need for excessive bending and squatting. My mom already happened to have a raised "tallboy" high efficiency toilet installed a few years prior so she was ahead of the game. You can get these taller toilets at Lowes or Home Depot for around $99- $250 However, If you do not already have a raised commode,opt for a portable seat that is securely attached and provides a comfortable height. Here is a good portable option below from At-Home Medical.
As years have gone on my mom has found an adjustable twin size bed by tempurpedic a life saver. This came in handy after surgery to be comfortable or sit up in bed to eat etc.. Good sleep = good recovery. The twin runs about $900
Small bedside/bed height table
This is super helpful for your hydroflask, drinks, tv remote, books,vitamins/meds and cell phone.
Shower Chair or Bench:
A shower chair or bench offers stability and support while bathing, allowing you to sit comfortably and avoid standing for extended periods. Look for one with rubberized feet for enhanced safety. Make sure shower floor is non-slip to prevent set back falls or bobbles. We grabbed one at Target for around $30
Opt for comfy slip-on shoes with non-slip soles to avoid the need for bending and tying shoelaces. My mom has terrible arthritis and foot deformity and we were able to still find her some super soft slip on shoes by Nike in a variety of colors. She didnt have to sacrifice fashion for comfort and safety so it was a win-win. You can find the Nike Burrow here on Amazon for around $50
Uggs, Velcro or elastic closures can also provide convenience and ease during the recovery period.
Rubber Shower Mats and Area Rug Elimination:
We grabbed a rubberized shower mat as her tile floor was slick and posed a potential risk for slip. We picked up her small area rugs in house and welcome mat around her door to avoid potential tripping hazards while using a walker. Keep the runway clear and mitigate hazards!
Long Lasting Hip Ice Wrap and Long Lasting Ice Packs:
Ice packs that can stay cold for several hours at a time were huge. We found these easier than a cold therapy machine for her to fuss over. Ice packs eliminated the pain med intake (Oxycontin) to zero after the first 24 hours, it also eliminated the muscle relaxers without side effects. Typically constipation occurs from the excessive meds but this was not the case for mom. We kept 2 ice packs in the freezer easily accessible for pain relief and rotation. My mom used an ActiveWrap Hip Wrap (see below). We added an extra ice pack in the freezer giving us 3 to rotate. One 4 hour plus ice pack runs around $22.
These square packs by ActiveWrap above were what we used. Here is the link
Easy to slip on clothing....light oversized thin weight sweats....elastic waists...pull over cotton nightgowns worked great. Non-hassle clothing.
Walker, Crutches, Cane:
Depending on your age and specific recovery plan, you may need a walker or crutches initially. Make sure your walker is in fine working order. Work closely with your healthcare professional to determine the most suitable mobility aid for your needs. Make sure and have your walker or crutches properly set up to your height to eliminate other potential injury do to poor ergonomics.
Insulated Water Bottle/Hydroflask
It was nice to have a big hydroflask (water bottle) handy full of cold water bedside anytime she wanted to have a quick drink or take her daily supplements/medication.
Invest in comfortable pillows that provide adequate support when sitting or lying down. These can help alleviate pressure on the hip joint and promote proper posture.
I would say this is essential when you are flying solo as a patient for sure. Try and line things up ahead of time at a comfortable level so that you need to avoid using a reacher at all. However,a reaching aid or grabber tool enables you to retrieve items from low places without straining your hip. It is particularly useful when you need to pick up objects from the floor , maybe get your slip on shoes lined up and in place . The reacher will help for high items on shelves too but only if that is an absolute must (try and avoid high items).
Write down and keep track of when you need to take your meds in case memory fades. Set alarm reminders in your phone. It's always good to stay ahead of the pain curve to make sure you are comfortable.
Other optional items other patients find helpful that we did not use either cause she had some assistance with me there or other reason.
These can be install pre surgery in the bathroom (professionally), especially near the toilet and shower area. These bars provide additional stability and aid in sitting down, standing up, and maneuvering in the bathroom. Do not use temporary or suction grab bars.
Physical Therapy Equipment:
Your home exercise program may involve specific equipment, such as hand weights, resistance bands, therapy balls, aquatic waist belt (for pool use) or ankle weights. Keep these readily available to facilitate your prescribed exercises.
Portable Handheld Showerhead:
A handheld showerhead allows you to direct water flow easily, facilitating bathing while sitting on a shower chair or bench. Choose a model with adjustable water pressure for added convenience.
Long handle Shower Sponge
Stable Chair or Recliner:
Ensure you have a stable and comfortable chair or recliner with armrests that can support your weight and provide a safe and supportive seating option during recovery.
Assistive Devices for Dressing:
Invest in dressing aids such as a long-handled shoehorn, sock aid, and button hook to make dressing easier and less straining on the hip.