You've recently had a total hip replacement and are getting ready to go home from the hospital. You will start several weeks of physical therapy to regain the range of motion in your hip and to strengthen the muscles that hold the hip joint firmly in place. During this time, you'll need a little additional support until you regain your balance and feel like you can put your weight on the affected leg. Here are some devices that can help you as you navigate through your total hip recovery.
You will likely leave the hospital using crutches. You will need to keep some of your weight off of the hip when you go home and for the first weeks of physical therapy. The physical therapist at the hospital will teach you the proper way to use crutches. You do not rest your shoulder on the crutches as you walk with them. They are designed for you to support your weight with your hand and lower arm. If you put the weight against the shoulder, you'll develop painful shoulder muscles.
If you have difficulty holding onto the hand grip on the crutch, a special attachment is available. This allows you to bend your elbow and rest your forearm on a platform attached to the crutch. Your weight is then transferred through your upper arm instead of your hand and lower arm.
These come in a variety of styles from a simple frame that you lift and place in front of you to support you as you walk to sophisticated models with wheels, a seat and hand brakes to stop the walker from rolling. The goal of the walker is to give you some support as your hip heals. Eventually, you'll not need the support and can get rid of the walker, so you may want to start out with the simple version.
Some disadvantages of a walker include:
- They may be difficult to move through your house if you have narrow corridors and doorways.
- They can be difficult to put in the car when going to a physical therapy appointment.
As your hip heals and your physical therapy continues, you'll put more weight on your hip and you'll need less support. You can now switch from crutches or a walker to a cane. The primary purpose of walking canes is to help with your balance, but a few variations will support some of your weight. The various cane designs include:
- The "C" Cane - This is the standard walking cane with a bend at the top that you hold onto. This cane is for balance and will only support a small amount of your weight.
- Grip Cane - These canes have a straight handle at the top that you wrap your fingers around. Because you have more to hold onto than the "C" cane, the grip cane can hold more of your weight.
- Quad Cane - Instead of a single point of contact on the floor, these canes have four points that touch the floor. This gives the cane even more stability and it will hold more of your weight.
For more information about your support options, contact a company like Pro-Med Equipment & Supply.Share