Home: Walking Aids
As you progress in your recovery you will switch from one type of mobility aid to another. As a general guideline you will normally start off using a walker or Zimmer frame the day after your operation and will shuffle around on that for one or two days. From there you will progress to a pair of crutches - nowadays these should be forearm crutches not underarm ones - and then on to a single crutch and finally a stick.
Don't be concerned if your physical therapist suggests something different. Different types of hip replacements and different patients require different solutions.
In order to prevent accidents you will need to spend time thinking about how you will use these walking aids in your home. Your physical therapist will be there to support you at the start but after that you will be left to manage for yourself and it will be for you to take what you've learned in the physiotherapy session and apply it to your individual living arrangements.
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This advise is the same for people using canes, sticks or crutches
Ferrules are the rubber ends on all walkers, frames, crutches, canes and walking sticks. Ferrules help stop the mobility aid from sliding and are crucial to your safety. Regularly check the ferrule has a visible tread and if has worn away replace it. Chemists and shoe repair shops are a good source for ferrules but if you can't find them there check back with your hospital's physiotherapy department.
Check the overall condition of the aid. Are there any chips, cracks or splits? Does the handgrip swivel? Is the metal warped or bent? If so then it's time for some repairs or even a new aid.
Unless you are driven door-to-door you will inevitably meet people when you go out. When there are just a few about they will normally give you sufficient room. However when it gets crowded they often don't. People with prams and pushchairs often have a hard time negotiating crowds as well and may not realise that you simply can't shift out of their way or they may not be able to see your walking aids.
Where there are crowds there are usually people in a hurry. On top of that simply being in a crowd restricts their view and they may just not see you have mobility difficulties.
If you get into a situation where you feel concerned about being pushed over then simply stop and hold your ground. Let the people go around you - don't try and work your way around them. Slowly make your way towards the side of the pavement furthest from the road and wait for a gap before moving on again. If there's a shop - duck into that for a few minutes to get your breath back. Crowds can be scary.
Having a friend with you is a real help as they can make a path for you but best still is to avoid crowds until you are strong and stable enough to deal with them.
The first day you walk out in the open air after hip surgery is such a great one.
Enjoy it and stay safe.
This site has at least one page dedicated to every type of walking aid you might need. Each one includes advice on buying, using and caring for that particular aid.
But if you're in a hurry, or already know what you want, then here are my suggested online retailers.
FlexSticks - my favourite walking cane - with 10% off for Hip Replacment Site visitors (coupon code = HRR12)
Amazon.com - for a huge range of hip replacement aids
Crutcheze - for beautiful crutches and accessories
The Wright Stuff - good range of moblity aids
Amazon.co.uk for a huge range of hip replacement products
Active Mobility Centre - dedicated to helping people with mobility issues
Glam Sticks - for individually designed canes and crutches - bling on a stick!
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