What to expect when traveling with a hip replacement. One travel writer’s journey.
This is the third in a 4-part series that will help you deal with total hip replacement (THR) and travel.
Part 1: Denial to acceptance. Preparing for joint replacement surgery.
Part 2: Preparing for surgery
Part 3: Recovery and travel
Part 4: On the travel road again
Disclaimer: Many people suffer from disabilities – either as a result of acquired disability, accidents, injuries, congenital or other factors. Fortunately, my disability is temporary, yet my experience opened my eyes to inclusive travel and the physical and emotional challenges disabled travelers face. I am fortunate to have had the choice of anterior approach hip replacement surgery.
Precautions to take with hip replacement
If you sit either at an office or in a comfortable chair parked in front of the TV, remember to get up and walk every 30-45 minutes.
Are you planning to travel anytime soon after hip replacement surgery? My surgeon recommended I wait six weeks before traveling by air. When you receive clearance from your doctor to fly again, you might want to consider wearing compression socks for airplane travel to prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis ( DVT).
Set an alarm on your smart phone or watch to ring in 30-45 minutes. Get up and walk around every time the alarm rings.
From walker to walking with your new hip
If you have a truck or sport utility vehicle that is high off the ground, remember to bring a portable step stool for getting in and out of the vehicle during the early stages of recovery and when you leave the hospital.
Hip replacement and stairs
While I can only speak to my hip replacement, I imagine knee replacement might have the same approach to mastering stair climbing. The key words to remember when ascending or descending stairs is “up with the good (leg) and down with the bad (leg).” This mantra has helped me climb the 14 steps to and from my master bedroom. I did spend the first night home sleeping downstairs in our daughter’s bedroom.
Have you had a hip or knee replacement? What tips do you have to share with others on what to expect with hip replacement and travel?
I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, physical therapists and staff members of John Muir Medical Center, Concord who have provided assistance with this four-part series offering what to expect with total hip replacement (THR) and travel.