Science can achieve miracles. No doubt a miracle of modern science is hip replacement surgery. However, this surgery still takes a tremendous toll on the human body.
You can no longer do many tasks with the ease you are accustomed to while recovering. One such simple yet the tricky task is tying your shoe, leading many to ask, “how long after hip replacement can I tie my shoes?”
Usually, your body will take 6-8 weeks to recover from an invasive surgery like hip replacement. During this time, excessive movement and bending of the hip can be very harmful. So, generally, it is advisable to tie your shoes after the 6-8 week period.
This answer, while true, provides a very narrow picture. To get a greater discussion about tying your shoe and other hip replacement-related issues. Give this article a thorough look.
How Long After Hip Replacement Can I Tie My Shoes?
There are two ways of doing hip replacement surgery.
The traditional one, called the posterior approach, cuts into the tendons and is a very invasive procedure. After the operation, these lacerated muscles/tendons require time to heal – for the invasive procedure, the healing time is approximately 6-8 weeks.
On the other hand, hip replacement surgery can also be done by a less invasive procedure known as the anterior method. Tendons or muscles are not detached during this procedure. So, there is a shorter recovery time. The recovery period, in this case, is approximately a week or so.
However, remember that every patient is unique. Therefore the recovery time is likely to vary as well. The recovery time mentioned here is only average. To get the best information, it’s always best to consult with your primary physician.
Tying Shoes After Hip Replacement
Excess movement and bending beyond 60 degrees can harm the recovery process. Tying shoelaces requires our bodies to bend. As a result, such body movement can be harmful after a hip replacement surgery. So, refrain from traditionally tying shoes while in the recovery period.
However, the recovery period differs based on which approach was used to perform the replacement surgery. If the posterior approach is used, you should wait until 6-8 weeks after the surgery. On the other hand, you will need only 1 or 2 weeks before you can start tying your shoes if you did the surgery in the anterior approach.
In addition, If you had mobility issues even before the surgery and had not tied shoes for a long time, then it will take longer actually to perform the task. Your body is not used to such movement, and as a result, the tissue will take longer to stretch. It is entirely natural. So, don’t worry – you’ll get there eventually.
Alternatives to Tying Shoe Laces After Hip Replacement
So, what if you don’t feel like tying shoelaces after hip replacement? Aren’t there any other options for you? Well, yes, there are.
- lace Free Shoes
An easy alternative is to wear shoes that do not have laces to tie. It’s much easier to wear after hip replacement because you can just slip your feet inside the Shoes without tying them, which requires you to bend your hip.
An even easier alternative is to wear sandals. You can wear sandals standing upright. So there is no need to bend at all. However, the main concern here is that normal sandals do not have as strong a grip as shoes. It might lead to your feet slipping out of the footwear and causing you to lose balance.
However, if you feel comfortable wearing it, here’s where you can find a sandal with good foot support and a strong grip.
- Elastic Shoelaces
Many of us do not feel comfortable with sandals or do not like the look of a lace-free shoe. Rest easy! Using a simple solution, you can still wear your favorite laced shoes.
So, how do you tie your shoes after hip replacement? First, replace your current shoelaces with Elastic Ones. With elastic shoelaces, you can loosely tie your shoe. It lets you slip your feet inside the shoe just like you would while wearing slip-on sneakers.
After Surgery Precautions: Basic Dos and Don’ts
You’ve known all the basics about shoelace and hip replacement; let’s see what dos and don’ts you should maintain as an after-surgery precaution.
1. Movement After Hip Replacement
The heavy movement might put excess stress on the body and reverse the healing process. The wisest thing to do right now is to let your body rest. So, don’t rush. Furthermore, squatting is a big no-no as it takes the hip below the knee level.
Also, bending puts enormous stress on your hip. Bending your body 90 degrees or more right after the operation can be extremely harmful. In fact, it’s safer not to go beyond 60 degrees. So naturally, you must be wondering, “when can I bend past 90 degrees after hip replacement?” Hopefully, with proper care and time, you can bend 90 degrees after 4 months or so.
2. Physical Exercise
Straining yourself will harm the recovery process – that’s the golden rule. Light exercises after hip replacement are good for gaining increased mobility. However, you must undertake these exercises at the advice of a therapist or a surgeon. Weight lifting, on the contrary, can be very bad during the recovery time and should be avoided at all costs.
One of the great post-op exercises out there is walking.
Walking helps to build up strength and provides increased mobility. In the beginning stages, you should use a walker to put less pressure on your leg. However, walking should be done in moderation. Walking too much may dislocate the transplant. The distance you walk will increase with time.
So how far should you be walking 4 weeks after hip replacement? You should walk no more than half a mile each day within the first 4 weeks of the hip replacement. After 4 weeks, as your endurance builds up, you can start trying to reach that 1-mile target.
Must-Have Tools After Hip Replacement
The article mainly focused on footwear after hip replacement. But during the recovery period, we have a limited range of mobility which can make everyday work, like picking up things from the ground or wearing clothes, a real struggle. Luckily many tools can make these tasks much more accessible.
We strongly recommend buying a Post Hip Replacement Tool kit. Most of these product packages also contain the Sock Aid and the Long-handled Shoe Horn – so you won’t have to buy them separately.
- What Kind of Shoes are Best After Hip Replacement?
Tennis shoes are a good option as they are more shock-absorbing, insulating the feet from sudden shakes. Furthermore, when shopping for a new shoe, look for one with a wider heel. But, it’s best to avoid high heel shoes during the first 4-6 weeks. Heels with 2 inches or higher put unbalanced weight on your feet.
- Will I Be Able to Put My Socks on After Hip Replacement?
You can definitely put on a sock without any problem once the recovery is completed. You should not bend your body more than 60 degrees during the recovery period, and you should not move in an unnatural position. It, unfortunately, makes putting on socks a real challenge.
But don’t worry, with a little assistance, you can put on socks in no time. Just attach the sock with a Sock Aid tool. The sock aid will widen the mouth of the sock so that you can easily put it on without the need to bend.
- How Will I Put on My Shoes During the Recovery Period?
Wearing a flip flop (remember to buy one with a good grip) is easy enough. There isn’t any need to bend even the slightest. So, there should be no difficulty in wearing these types of footwear.
However, if you are more comfortable wearing shoes and want to continue doing so, you will need some additional help. Before anything else, you need to buy a Long-Handled Shoe Horn. This tool eliminates the need to bend down to adjust the shoe.
So how exactly do you put on your shoes during the recovery period after hip replacement? Just follow these easy instructions:
- First, sit on a chair or the side of your bed. Take special care not to bend your body.
- Take the long-handled shoehorn to the back of your shoe and insert your feet inside the shoe. Again, DO NOT bend your body while doing this.
- Now move the long-handled shoehorn to adjust the end of your shoe. Remove the shoe-horn when you are done.
It is just like putting on shoes using a normal-sized shoehorn. The only difference is that due to the bigger size of this tool, you do not need to bend your body uncomfortably.
We hope that the answer to “how long after hip replacement can I tie my shoes?” is not out of your reach anymore.
Hip replacement is a significant event. You are already a warrior! But even the toughest fighter needs time to recover after a fight. So, take things slow. Avoid strenuous activities; let your body rest for at least 6-8 weeks. It will ensure a strong recovery without any complications.