Patient Information Resources

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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I had a hip replacement about three weeks ago. The doctor gave me a list of dos and don'ts but didn't say anything about carrying groceries, getting up on a step stool, or sitting at my computer to check emails. Are there any restrictions on these kinds of activities?

It's best to ask your doctor for his or her guidelines. The type of implant (cement or cementless) makes a difference. Your age and weight, the condition of your bones, and your general health may factor in, too.

A recent survey showed that doctors don't all use the same timeframe for activity restriction. An average of recommended time for each activity you mentioned would be as follows:

  • lifting 10 pounds: okay after seven weeks for cemented hip implants and eight week for cementless hip implants
  • climbing a ladder (step stool): okay after 12 weeks
  • sitting in an office chair: okay after six weeks.

    Other guidelines included driving a car (five weeks), working on hands and knees (11 weeks), and use of a regular-height toilet (six to eight weeks). Most patients add new activities gradually after six weeks as they feel able and safe.

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