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Joint replacement preparation video series

Total Hip Replacement Precautions

These guidelines are for those who have had hip replacement surgery. Still considering it? Learn more about your options in UPMC’s overview of hip pain.

Weight-bearing status:_____________________________

Continue to use the following guidelines until your doctor tells you otherwise.


In general:

  • Avoid bending past 90 degrees.
  • Avoid twisting your leg in or out.
  • Avoid crossing your legs.


  • Lie on your back while resting in bed. Keep a pillow between your thighs to prevent your knees from touching.
  • You must have a pillow between your thighs if you lie on your side.



  • Scoot to the edge of the bed or chair before standing.
  • Keep your involved leg in front of the other when getting up from a chair or bed.
  • Avoid low beds.


  • Sit in chairs higher than knee height.
  • Sit in a firm, straight-back chair with arm rests.
  • DO NOT sit on soft chairs, rocking chairs, sofas, or stools.


  • Continue to use your walker, crutches, or cane until your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes with non-skid soles.
  • Get up and move around every hour. Take short, frequent walks.
  • Be careful on uneven ground or wet surfaces.
  • Maintain your weight-bearing status as instructed until your doctor or therapist tells you otherwise.
  • Avoid pivoting on your operated leg. Take small steps when turning.


  • Use a raised toilet seat at or above knee height.
  • Avoid twisting during personal hygiene.


  • Take sponge baths or purchase a tub bench. You may use a walk-in shower.
  • DO NOT bend or reach for the tub controls.
  • DO NOT bend or squat to wash your legs and feet. Use long-handled equipment to reach them.
  • DO NOT sit in the bottom of a regular bathtub; use a tub seat or bench.



  • Use long-handled equipment to get dressed.
  • Sit down when passing clothing over your feet.
  • DO NOT bend over, raise your legs, or cross your legs when you get dressed.

Household Chores

  • Use long-handled reachers, mops, brooms, or dustpans to do simple chores that would involve bending, stooping, or twisting (such as washing floors, dusting low tables, or making beds).
  • DO NOT bend to pick up objects from the floor. Use a long-handled reacher.
  • DO NOT run the vacuum cleaner or sweeper.
  • Use a rolling cart to transport items.
  • Place commonly used items above knee level or on the top shelf of your refrigerator.
  • Slide items along the kitchen counter.
  • Sit while preparing food.

Riding in a Car

  • DO NOT drive until your doctor says you may.
  • DO NOT enter your car while standing on a curb or step.
  • Avoid long car rides. Get up and walk around every two hours.
  • Avoid cars with deep bucket seats or low seats. Sit on a pillow to raise the seat height.

Sexual Relations

Do not feel that you have to avoid sexual relations. You do need to take certain precautions concerning your position. Discuss this with your doctor or therapist.

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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