Hip or knee surgery - getting your home ready; Osteoarthritis - knee
Before you go to the hospital for surgery, set up your home to make your recovery and life easier when you come back. Plan and do this well in advance of your surgery so you can test the preparations you have made.
Ask your health care provider or physical therapist about getting your home ready.
Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the floor where you will spend most of your time. Limit your stair use to once a day.
You may need help bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to provider visits, and exercising. If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after surgery, ask your provider about having a trained caregiver come to your home. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.
Other items that may help:
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:
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 (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. Use a small backpack or fanny pack to carry things such as your phone.
Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair. It is especially important to practice the correct ways to:
Rizzo TD. Total hip replacement. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 61.
Weinlein JC. Fractures and dislocations of the hip. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 55.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 12/12/2022
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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