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Old 06-09-2008, 06:27 AM   #1
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Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

I've gotten some conflicting information about post-surgery restrictions re bending at waist. For those who've had the surgery, are you still not allowed to bend from the waist to pick things up? Also, is leg not allowed to cross mid-line of body permanently after surgery or just until hip capsule is healed?

If you are not allowed to bend more than 90 degrees, do you carry a reacher with you? I travel a lot for my job and also dang it drop a lot of things, so was just wondering whether I'll need to get a collapsible reacher for future.

If these restrictions are permanent, I'm wondering too how my neighbor is able to do yoga. I know she modifies a lot of her poses post surgery. Guess I'll have to ask her which poses she's not allowed to do anymore. I used to take yoga classes and I really miss it. Would love to be able to resume it after surgery.



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Old 06-09-2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

Hi Maggie:

The last time I went for a checkup with my hip surgeon it was about 3 months after the surgery. I asked him how far I could bend down now and he said "Show me how you bend". I bent down almost to the floor (couldn't get any farther, actually) and he said that is fine - you can do that. I have trouble picking things up off the floor and still love my reacher and intend to keep using it as long as I feel it helps.

As for the 90 degree angle - he was sitting on a chair and drew his knees up to his chest, and said - "This you must not do".

I have decided to keep the pillows on the driver's seat in my Focus - this keeps my hips higher than my knees. The driver's seat has a sort of hollow in the middle and I have a little round pillow there that just fits. Have a throw pillow over that and the combination works for me.

My hip surgeon said he doesn't need to see me now till the one year anniversary of the surgery - this will be December 12, 2008.

I too wonder how long I need to observe the 90 degree angle but have the gut feeling it will be forever! I will ask him next time.

Does anyone else here know?

Shirley H.

Old 06-09-2008, 06:16 PM   #3
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

I am a little over 1 year from my hip replacement. When I went in for my annual checkup, I was told that I couldn't cross by operated leg over my other leg - in other words, cross it past the midpoint - for the rest of my life. They also told me that I couldn't twist my body and that I could reach down between my legs, but not to the outside of my leg. This was also for life. I was given advice on what I could and could not do relative to yoga. I was also told I couldn't keep my feet firm and then twist my body. My original restrictions which involved the 90 degree rule was only for 6 weeks, although I had a friend who was on the restrictions from her doctor for 8 months - kind of is up to the doctor. I stopped using the higher chairs at 6 weeks and gave up my reacher then also. I hope this helps. It really is up to the doctor and some doctors are more conservative than others.

Old 06-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #4
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

Hi Larimer Girl and Shirley.....

I've had both hips replaced. The first one was a posterior-lateral approach with muscles cut. I had to follow the 90 degree restrictions for a good 3 months. I opted for an anterior approach for my second replacement, and the difference in recovery for both was like night and day.

I had absolutely no restrictions with my second...altho, for the first few months, was extremely careful. Because no major muscles are cut during the anterior approach, it allows for more stability with much less chance of dislocation.

As for bending, use your grabber tool until restrictions are lifted. I bend at the waist all the time with no problem (am a passionate gardener). I belong to several hip forums and have found that restrictions vary from surgeon to surgeon and, of course, the surgical approach.

I was told by my first surgeon to never cross my leg midline....but can't imagine I'd want to try that anyway. I forget I have 2 fake hips and I'm as active as I want to be at 61.

BTW, the grabber is wonderful! Like Shirley, I use mine a lot and would probably own one even if I didn't have my hips replaced.

Best wishes

Old 06-09-2008, 07:17 PM   #5
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

I have both hips replaced (it's been several years) and I have no restrictions other than the ones my aging body imposes on me! I certainly can pick that $20 bill from the floor but I also am not as flexible as I used to be. Although it's been a long time since the surgeries, I still keep in the back of my mind the notion that I won't deliberately do things or get into positions that would either raise the risk of dislocation or speed up the wear rate of the joint. I can cite one such "precaution" which says that I should avoid internally rotating the hip joint AT THE SAME TIME as I bend that joint past 90 degrees. So, I keep my knees apart when I bend over. And life goes on.

Old 06-12-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

I just had a THR on my right hip. I sleep on the operation side, it doesn't hurt, I don't think it ever did to be honest.
I was amazed how easy it was and painless.
I was told it depends on what was put in your hip for the range of motion you have, the larger the head the more range. I had my surgery may 7 and I have bent down once or twice forgetting but I was ok. My PT said I should not cross my legs anyway as it cut off circulation.
The big question I would think would be with all the precautions do we ever get to haver sex again and not worry. Lol
But everything should be possible after three months...

Old 06-12-2008, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement


It all depends on which type of THR you have. I just had minimally invasive anterior approach (June 4th - 8 days ago) on my left hip. I can bend 90 degrees, touch the floor, cross my legs - all no problem. And generally walking around the house without a cane. In my surgery, none of my muscles were cut and my incision is in the front. The only thing my surgeon recommended was not to get into a true lotus position (with my left foot higher than my left knee and crossing my right leg.)

Which type of surgery are you having?

Old 06-12-2008, 08:24 PM   #8
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

I believe it is an anterior surgery too. After last consult I realized that I asked the surgeon where he would cut and he made an anterior gesture and I didn't follow up with more questions about incision. I was so focused on some other questions that I forgot to ask what muscles would be cut if any etc. It's only when I got home from the consult that I pulled out my list of questions and saw that I had not really asked all my questions about how incision should be made. So, if I interpreted the gesture correctly, I'm encouraged by your comments. Maggie

Old 07-20-2008, 07:23 AM   #9
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

Hello - I'm new to this site. My surgeon says I should always be 'careful', and the physiotherapist says the 90 degree rule still applies, but I bend all the time to garden, tie trainers, pick up cat dishes etc. And I often wake up with crossed legs even though I sleep with a soft pillow between my knees. My hip (metal-on-metal) was put in 7 months ago; I'm 59. I can't walk without a slight limp but most of the time I forget about the hip and just live normally.

Old 07-20-2008, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: Question about Permanent Restrictions--Hip Replacement

Thanks for your report. I'm now 2 weeks from surgery so all positive comments are helpful! I'm looking forward to living normally. Today, I went to a play with friends and had just a burning pain in my psoas muscle--it is so tight from stabilizing me. I could barely walk. Made me crazy--tiny mincing steps are not my style. I used to be a fast walker. Can't wait till I have the chance to walk normally again. Maggie

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