Getting your home ready - knee or hip surgery

Alternate Names

Hip or knee surgery - getting your home ready

Introduction

Before you go to the hospital for surgery, set up your home to make your recovery and life easier when you come back. Do this well in advance of your surgery.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or physical therapist about getting your home ready.

Make It Easy for Yourself

Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the same floor where you will spend most of your time. If you will need to use the stairs, you should limit using them to once a day.

You may need help bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to the doctor, and exercising. If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after surgery, ask your doctor or nurse about having a trained caregiver come to your home to help you. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.

Other items that may help:

Bathroom Setup

Raising the toilet seat height will keep you from flexing your knee too much. You can do this by adding a seat cover or elevated toilet seat or a toilet safety frame. You can also use a commode chair instead of a toilet.

You may need to have safety bars in your bathroom. Grab bars should be secured vertically or horizontally to the wall, not diagonally.

You can make several changes to protect yourself when you take a bath or shower:

Sit on a bath or shower chair when taking a shower:

Avoiding Falls

Keep tripping hazards out of your home.

Pets that are small or move around may cause you to trip. For the first few weeks you are home, consider having your pet stay elsewhere (such as with a friend, in a kennel, or in the yard).

Do not carry anything when you are walking around. You may need your hands to help you balance.

Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair. It is especially important to practice the correct ways to:


Review Date: 11/15/2012
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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