Sunday, June 28, 2009

Health Tips for June 28

Health Tip: Protecting a New Hip

A hip replacement needs time to heal after surgery. And while you may be anxious to get back to a normal life, it's important to take it easy for a while.

Your doctor will tell you what you should and shouldn't do after surgery. But the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these general suggestions:

  • For at least eight weeks after the surgery, avoid sitting with your legs crossed at the knees.
  • Don't lift your knee above the level of your hip.
  • When seated, avoid leaning forward -- such as to pick something up off the floor.
  • When bending down, keep your feet straight. Avoid pointing them to the inside or outside.
  • When in bed, avoid reaching down to grab the sheet or blanket.
  • Don't stand with toes pointed toward each other.
  • Don't bend at the waist at more than a 90-degree angle.
  • Just because a certain movement doesn't hurt doesn't mean it's safe. Pain isn't the only indicator of what you should or shouldn't do.

Health Tip: After a Hip Replacement

Having a hip replaced involves major surgery, and you should lighten your activity load for as long as your doctor recommends.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions to help make your recovery easier:

  • Keep items that you use often within close reach, so you won't have to stretch or bend for them.
  • Arrange your furniture to accommodate your walker or crutches, and make your primary room doesn't require climbing stairs.
  • Get a taller-than-average chair with a firmly padded seat. Low, soft seats will be less comfortable.
  • Pick up any rugs that may cause you to slip, and make sure electrical cords are safely secured and out of the way.
  • In the bathroom, use a shower chair, a grab bar and a raised toilet seat.
  • Create an area with all of your medications, a phone, remote control, water and anything else you may need within reach.
  • Use devices that will prevent you from having to reach, such as a long-handled shoehorn, a long-handled sponge, and a grabbing tool.

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