Preparing for your hip replacement


Between being seen by your Consultant and the time of your operation, there are several things you should do to prepare yourself.

To reduce the risk of an infection occurring around your new hip, it is important that any possible sources of infection elsewhere are eradicated prior to your hip operation. Common areas of concern are the teeth or gums, skin infections, bladder infections, leg ulcers, in-growing toenails and athlete’s foot. Any source of infection, however seemingly minor, must be dealt with prior to surgery. If you are concerned, please see your dentist for a check up or see your GP for advice.

See your GP about any long term health problems that need monitoring to ensure that these are well controlled before your operation e.g. blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems

    Probiotic yogurt-like products such as Yakult or Actimel are dietary supplements that may help suppress antibiotic changes to the gut flora that can occur whilst you are in hospital. They may also be beneficial in minimising constipation that can occur after surgery and in preventing the possibility of hospital acquired infections. We suggest you buy one of these products from your supermarket and start drinking a tube a day starting a week before surgery and continue until at least a week after surgery.

If you are able to do so comfortably, perform the following exercises on a daily basis to maintain muscle strength and movement prior to surgery. (Please do not do them after your hip replacement or before revision hip surgery)

•Put the foot of your unaffected leg on a low step and hold a banister or wall for support. Lean forward whilst bending this knee. Keep your body upright and the feet flat on the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch at the front of the affected hip. Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds. Relax and repeat 5 times.

  1. Lie on your back. Bend the knee of the affected leg so that your foot rests flat on the bed. Allow the bent knee to fall out to the side until you feel a stretch on the inside of the thigh. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds. Relax and repeat 5 times.




•Lie on your back. Pull your legs alternately up onto your chest, keeping the opposite leg flat down on the bed. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds. Relax and repeat 5 times

•If you are able, lie flat on your stomach with your legs wide apart for 20 minutes once or twice a day. If achieving this position is too uncomfortable, lie flat on your back with your legs wide apart for approximately 20 minutes once or twice a day. This will stretch the front of your hip and inside of your thigh

•Stand on the affected leg (use a support if necessary for balance). Bend the knee of the unaffected leg and lift the foot off the floor and keep your balance for up to 30 seconds, Concentrate on holding the pelvis level.

Plan how you will cope at home. Most people go home 3-4 days after their operation, so prepare for your return home well before your admission to hospital. If you normally live alone, you may find it reassuring to recuperate with a relative or friend or for them to stay with you for a few days. If you anticipate problems, please discuss your convalescent arrangements with your GP well in advance.

The following checklist provides a list of items to consider to make sure you are ready for your return home.

•Stock up and re-arrange the kitchen so that all the items you frequently use are within easy reach without bending. Perhaps get a high stool to perch on when preparing your meals.

•Arrange your clothes and shoes so that you don’t have to twist or bend to reach them.

•Arrange for someone to do your shopping

•Arrange for someone to do heavy domestic tasks

•Prepare and freeze some meals in advance or arrange to have meals delivered