How to shower after hip replacement surgery

Written by heather woodlief | 13/05/2017

Following hip replacement surgery, hope for a more physically active and painless lifestyle are motivators to follow a doctor's instructions. Yet the practical needs of hygiene need to be addressed. Here are some practical tips on showering during the recovery process.

Ask your doctor when you can begin showering after surgery. According to "A Patient's Guide to Knee and Hip Replacement," you will not be able to shower until the staples have been removed and the incision is healed. Georgetown University Hospital estimates that your first shower will be eight weeks after surgery. In preparation, shower doors should be removed, as the recovering leg will not be able to clear a high shower lip. Even for walk-in showers, install grab bars inside and outside of the stall.

Place a non-skid mat on the shower floor and add a shower chair without arms where the most water flow occurs. Also, install a shelf at shoulder height while you are sitting. Ensure that soap never slides into the shower by adding a lip to the shelf. Add a longhandled brush and hand-held shower hose to the arsenal to ensure you can clean those hard-to-reach places without straining muscles.

While showering, leave surgical dressings in place. Following the shower, dry yourself off with a beach towel or extra long towel so you can reach your feet without bending all the way over. Remove the wet dressing, clean with peroxide or water, then replace with clean dressing.

Things you need

  • Shower chair without handles
  • Handheld shower hose
  • Long-handled brush and/or sponge
  • Grab bar installation kit

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