Hip and Knee

The Patient's Guide to Hip Replacement Surgery and the Patient's Guide to Knee Replacement Surgery provide the information you need to know before your surgery, during your hospital stay and throughout your recovery.

Building strength, making changes to your home and practicing how you will manage everyday activities after your hip or knee replacement surgery will make a difference to the outcomes you experience. On this page you will find educational videos provided primarily by Vancouver Coastal Health that will help you achieve your recovery goals.

You may also wish to view this video that has patients sharing their experiences with joint replacement surgery. Everyone’s experience is different, and it’s hard to know what to expect. This video might help.

Exercises to do before your surgery

It is recommended that you review the patient guide book before your surgery, and practice the exercises in the guide if you can do so without pain, as you will begin some of these exercises right after surgery. The following video can help you improve your arm strength, which you will rely on more to support yourself after having a hip or knee replaced.

Arm Strengthening Exercises 

 

Managing everyday activities after hip or knee replacement surgery

Everyday activities such as getting dressed, getting in and out of bed, and going up and down the stairs will be challenging right after surgery. The following videos provide tips on how to use equipment to manage these everyday activities. Please review these videos prior to surgery and practice them if able. Following surgery, a nurse or physiotherapist may suggest additional tips or equipment to keep you safe.

Walking with a two-wheeled walker
If you are having two joints replaced at the same time, place the leg that is sorer forward first, followed by the other leg.

Going up and down stairs  
If you are having two joints replaced at the same time, place the least sore leg on the step above first, followed by the other leg and the crutch/cane. When going downstairs, place the crutch/cane and sorer leg down first, followed by the other leg.

Getting in and out of bed
If you are unable to move yourself on the bed until your entire leg is supported on the bed, use a long strap or belt to help lift the leg in and out of bed after surgery. The video suggests putting the strong leg in first; however, it is okay to put the operated leg in first if this is how your bed is set up at home. You can practice getting in and out bed on both sides while you are in hospital and decide which feels most comfortable.  

Getting in and out of a car
Placing a plastic bag on a car seat will help you move on the seat easier, and using a strap or belt around your foot will help you lift one leg at a time in and out of the car.

Getting in and out of a chair 
If you have been told to avoid bending your hips past 90 degrees, please note that this limit is in place for 6 weeks, not 3 months as the video indicates.

Getting on and off the toilet

Getting in and out of the bathtub 
Only patients who must avoid bending at the hips past 90 degree should not bend forward to turn on the tap. If you are allowed to bend past 90 degrees, reaching forward is allowed but it may be difficult to do in the first part of recovery.

For those with a walk-in shower, you can get a compact shower chair that will allow you to sit and stay safe while bathing.

Getting dressed using a reacher
If you have been told to avoid bending your hips past 90 degrees, please note that this limit is in place for 6 weeks, not 3 months as the video indicates.

Getting dressed using a sock-aid
If you have been told to avoid bending your hips past 90 degrees, please note that this limit is in place for 6 weeks, not 3 months as the video indicates.