Narrator: Hip precautions are positions you should avoid after surgery in order to prevent complications.
E. Anthony Rankin, M.D.: We have a little drawing by the bedside that are called “Hip Precautions.” So we advise the patients not to put their leg in an at-risk position. We don’t want them stooping too low or sitting too low in the early post-operative period.
Narrator: A day or two after hip replacement surgery you will be asked to sit on the edge of the bed.
Jeff Wright, P.T., A.T.C., C.S.C.S.: The objective is to have that patient get from that horizontal position to the vertical position, sitting up over the side of the bed and we are observing what we call hip precautions. What we try to do is to make sure that person doesn’t cross their legs over, so having their leg cross across their body. We also do not have them increase the bending of their hip greater than 90 degrees or the angle of a chair. We also avoid having them turn their foot, turn their knee inward which will make their hip come out or make their foot go outwards. And that’s more what they call a more dislocating kind of position.
Narrator: You should also avoid reaching down to pull up blankets while in bed, and you should not lean forward while sitting or as you sit down.
Jeff Wright: You don’t have them lean forward and push with the walker here. We have that sort of out of the way and you push up with your leg out in that fashion here and then go to the walker.
Thomas Calhoun, M.D.: Dr. Rankin and I had obviously extensive conversations about things you do before surgery and immediately afterwards.
Narrator: Dr. Thomas Calhoun talks about how important it was to observe these precautions after his hip replacement surgery.
Thomas Calhoun, M.D.: I paid attention to things that he was recommending. That is to go slow, don’t rush the healing process because at our age it takes a bit longer and so we were careful about bending, picking up objects off the floor, about crossing our legs, careful about sudden risk movements.
Narrator: Precautions can vary depending on the type of hip replacement that was done.
Jeff Wright, P.T.: When you have hip replacement, you can have either an anterior lateral approach down the side, you can have posterior approach, which is not done as much anymore. Or you can have a pure anterior approach, which is not the new procedure--it’s kind of an older procedure-- but it’s coming back in fashion and the limitations immediately post-operatively are guided by the type of the procedure that is being done.
Narrator: Taking the proper precautions helped Dr. Calhoun make a full recovery.
E. Anthony Rankin, M.D: Dr. Calhoun has done amazingly well. I think he was really well prepared, he understood what to expect. He read up on the procedures that we discussed before the surgery. So he’s done very well. He went from the acute care side after three days to the rehab side. I believe he was there for about five days. He’s been home. He came back much sooner to work than I had anticipated or even recommended. He was back at work in about three weeks.
Thomas Calhoun, M.D.: I think that part of the recovery went so well because I was motivated that once this was over and done I would be back to my usual activities. So again, lots of prayers specifically my rosary which I kept with me on a regular basis, and going along with the exercises and the programs that were recommended by Dr. Rankin, my orthopedic surgeon, and also the physical therapist.