When you’re scheduled for hip replacement surgery you’ll probably be assessed at a pre-op appointment (depending on the hospital) to ensure you have everything you need when you get home after surgery.
Having the right chair to sit in during recovery time is one of the most important things to consider before you have surgery.
The best kind of chair should be one that’s the right height so you can easily sit down and stand again, it should have armrests, not be too deep and it should be comfortable.
Read on to find out much more about how to choose the best chairs post-hip replacement surgery, information on buying chairs, and when you can return to your favorite inappropriate chair!
- How to choose a good chair, including:
- Examples of a good chair
- Do you have to buy a new chair?
- When can you return to your usual chair?
Before I begin with this article, it’s important to point out that there are different approaches to hip surgery, and the technique used will depend on the patient’s circumstances. This means that recovery times and advice on restrictions will vary depending on the surgery and direction given by the doctor.
Some patients don’t have any restrictions or might need to follow precautions for a shorter period, whereas others might have restrictions for up to six to twelve weeks.
The information on this site is based on personal experience as a hip replacement patient, the experiences of others, and research. I am not a doctor or a medical professional nor do I aim to give medical advice.
Always check with your doctor first if you need clarification on how long you should avoid certain movements or activities.
How to Choose a Good Chair
When you have a hip replacement you’ll be advised that you shouldn’t flex your new hip joint past a 90-degree angle for around three months.
Sitting in the wrong kind of chair, where your knees are higher than your hips or one that you have to twist or bend to get up can lead to a person going beyond the 90º rule.
Below is all the information you need to know about how to choose the best kind of chair following hip replacement surgery, not just in your home, but if you go out socially or have to attend an appointment.
1 – Make Sure it Has Armrests
Armrests are really important in the first few months following hip replacement surgery because they help you to lower down and raise again using your arms as support.
This eases the pressure on your operated leg and reduces the amount of pain you may experience when you sit down in the first few weeks.
From experience, it can be a real struggle getting out of a chair without armrests until you’ve gained back strength and pain has reduced (in later months).
2 – Make Sure it’s the Right Height
Height is another important factor when choosing a chair and you might be asked to measure your chair to make sure it’s suitable at the pre-op stage (I was).
Sitting in a chair that’s too low can be risky for two reasons; firstly because it will be difficult to sit in and secondly because it will lead to you sitting at an angle greater than 90º if your knees are higher than your hips.
Choosing a chair that is too high may mean your feet aren’t touching the floor which puts added pressure on the hip and will likely be very uncomfortable.
The best sitting position is where your feet are comfortably flat on the ground so the hips are at the same level as the knees.
3 – Make Sure it’s Not too Deep
A chair that is too deep will mean you have to sit back further so your feet are raised from the floor.
This kind of chair will be difficult to get in and out of and will also be uncomfortable to sit in for any length of time.
4 – Make Sure it’s Comfortable
It’s no good choosing a chair that ticks all the boxes for practicality if it’s not comfortable because it’s harder to get comfortable in the early weeks following surgery.
Because of the swelling around the new joint and the wound I found that you could feel a little pressure on the area when you sit down, this goes with time, but sitting on a hard surface such as a wooden chair isn’t comfortable while you’re still in this stage of recovery.
If you have hard dining-style chairs, you might want to use a cushion to ease the pressure a little.
Do You Have to Buy a New Chair?
Some people might be tempted to invest in a new armchair that’s suitable for someone that’s had a hip replacement and in some cases this might be a good idea. However, there are some important things to consider before investing in a new one, which include:
- You might be eligible to borrow a chair from the hospital – some hospitals and local Government schemes provide equipment such as chairs to people who don’t have the right equipment. Check with your hospital if they do this before buying a new one.
- It’s only a temporary requirement – because you’ll only need to sit on this kind of chair for the first two or three months you might regret spending money on something you might not use in the future.
- You can adjust the height of a chair you already have – if your favorite chair is too low to sit on post-surgery you can increase the height by fixing an extender to each leg. You can get these from amazon (an example of these is in the affiliate link below).
Shop chair height extenders at Amazon
Examples of Good Chairs
Below are some examples of armchairs that could be used by a person who’s recently had hip replacement surgery (provided they’re the right height for the individual).
They’re sturdy and not too padded so they sink when sat in, not too deep, and allow a person to sit in the correct position.
Examples of Bad Chairs
Below are some examples of bad chairs, which might include:
- Low chairs
- Chairs on wheels or those that can move when sat on
- Deep chairs
- Chairs that sink when sat on
- Chairs without arms
- Stools (low or high)
When Can You Return to Your Usual Chair?
If you’re not too keen on sitting in an armchair-style seat, don’t worry because it’s only a temporary thing, and most people can return to sitting on a normal chair after about two to three months.
If you’re unsure whether you can return to more normal activities, always check with your doctor or physiotherapist, because everyone’s situation is different.
For much more information on this topic, take a look at the article in the link below:
When Can You Sit In A Normal Chair After A Hip Replacement?
Useful Equipment Following A Hip Replacement
Performing everyday tasks following a hip replacement can be a little tricky in the early days following surgery.
To make your life easier post-surgery, we’ve put together a list of essential and non-essential equipment items that will help you to retain your independence and enable you to perform everyday tasks with ease.
Visit our recommended equipment page
I hope this article helped you find the information you were searching for. You might also like the related posts in the links below:
How To Sit After You’ve Had A Hip Replacement?
Can You Sit With Your Legs Up After A Hip Replacement?
How Long Should You Sit After A Hip Replacement?