If you suffer from severe hip arthritis or a fractured hip, a hip replacement can be your best bet for pain relief and restoration of function. But surgery is only the beginning. After your hip replacement, you will need to undergo some occupational therapy to help strengthen you and encourage healing. Here are a few of the things your occupational therapist will help you do after hip replacement surgery.
Sit and Stand
It is important that you are able to sit and stand up within a day or two of your hip replacement. This may sound extreme, but moving around is really important to prevent blood clots in your leg. Of course, sitting and standing won't be easy with your brand new hip and the associated incisions. An occupational therapist will work with you in the hospital to help you by showing you how to best balance on your arms and your other leg while rising. After a few tries, you will have the technique down and will have an easier time getting up and down.
Use the Toilet and Shower
Most patients need some assistance using the toilet and shower after a hip replacement. While the nurses will help you take care of these needs, an occupational therapist will also be there to help you with the correct placement of your hands, legs, and rest of your body. When you go home, you will probably have an occupational therapist visit a few times to help you with these tasks in your own home, too. The occupational therapist may also recommend some modifications you can make to your bathroom to make these tasks easier. For instance, they may tell you where to put a grab bar or to move the shower fixtures up or down so they're easier to reach.
Your occupational therapist will help you figure out the best way to dress when recovering from a hip replacement. Not only will they help you figure out how to get clothing on; they will also help you determine what clothing you should wear. They might, with your permission, go through your drawers to set aside things that will be easiest for you to put on and take on over the coming weeks.
An occupational therapist is an important resource to have in your corner as you recover from a hip replacement. You'll typically meet your therapist in the hospital first, and then they'll help you in your own home.