Your doctor may recommend that you have hip replacement surgery when non-surgical methods don’t work anymore and hip pain interferes with your daily life. The procedure helps to greatly reduce or eliminate the pain and to increase your range of motion in the affected hip and leg.
After undergoing hip replacement surgery, you can expect to go through a process of healing and recovery. During this period, navigating around your home and climbing stairs may seem intimidating. However, with a little patience and support, you’ll easily get back to enjoying your activities in no time.
Using Assistive Devices to Climb Stairs After Hip Surgery
After the operation and throughout the early stages of recovery, you will need some form of support when ascending or descending stairs, such as using the handrails and a cane. At home, your stairs should have some handrails or banisters already installed. If these don’t exist with your stairs, consider having them put in place before your surgery.
When you are out in public, try to stay away from climbing stairs or sloped walkways that do not have any handrails. Additionally, avoid stairs with steps that are far apart from each other or have odd shaping. If anything is amiss, always ask others for assistance.
Lead with Your Stronger Leg to Walk Up the Stairs
Be sure to always step up with your non-operated leg first while climbing stairs after hip replacement surgery. One phrase doctors tell patients to help them remember this is “up with the good, down with the bad.” (As described below, you’ll lead with your operated leg when descending stairs.)
After you’ve propped up your non-operated leg on the first step, use your cane and the handrail to support yourself as you bring the operated leg onto the same level. To summarize:
- Hold onto your cane or crutch opposite your operated leg, and hold the handrail for support on the side of the operated leg.
- Lift up your stronger, non-operated leg onto the first step.
- Ensure your weight is supported evenly, then bring your operated leg up to the same step.
- Repeat the process for each step as you climb the staircase.
Walking Down the Stairs Post-Surgery
When walking down the stairs with your new hip joint, you will need to support the weight of your body with your stronger leg as you lower your operated leg down first. This time, you need to start at the edge of the topmost step:
- Supported by the handrail and your cane, bring down your operated leg first to the next step.
- Bring your non-operated leg down to the same step.
- Repeat this process for each step until you reach the bottom.
Hip Replacement Surgery in Farmington Hills, Michigan
If you are suffering from chronic hip pain that has been hindering you from performing regular, routine activities on a daily basis, hip replacement surgery is an effective treatment option. Your rehabilitation and recovery will include learning how to climb stairs with your new prosthetic hip joint. Following your doctor’s orders will make the process easier and speed up your recovery.
Here at Tri County Orthopedics in Farmington Hills, Michigan, our orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled and experienced in the evaluation and diagnosis of various musculoskeletal conditions. We are dedicated to helping you navigate the steps toward treatment and recovery.
You can get in touch with us by calling (248) 474-5575 or by filling out our appointment request form. We look forward to serving you.