Medical equipment

You may need to use some special equipment to ensure a safe recovery after your surgery. This page shows and describes the equipment.

You must use a front-wheel walker, crutches or a cane (assistive walking device) and most likely a raised toilet seat after your surgery. Any other items are optional based on your needs.

Insurance will usually only cover the purchase of a walker, pair of crutches or cane. You most likely will need to purchase or borrow any other equipment you need.

See the community resources directory for information about places that loan or sell equipment.

How to use canes, crutches and walkers after surgery

This 12-minute video shows how to safely walk, use stairs and stand with a cane, crutch or walker.

All illustrations © Allina Health System

A front wheel walker or crutches will help you feel more stable as you walk
A raised toilet seat or commode will make it easier for you to get on and off the toilet.
toilet safety frame
A toilet safety frame will make it easier for you to get on and off the toilet.
Installing grab bars around your toilet, bathtub or shower will increase your safety during transfers.

A  tub chair lets you sit while taking a shower or bath.

A tub transfer bench can help you get in or out of the shower or tub. You can also sit on it while taking a shower or bath.
A hand-held shower head allows you to control the spray of water while sitting.
A long-handled sponge can be used to wash your feet when you cannot bend and to wash your back so you keep from twisting.
A reacher helps you get things from higher and lower levels. It can also help you put clothes on the lower part of your body.
A sock aid helps you put on socks without bending.
Tongs can be used in place of a reacher. Or they can help you with your hygiene care after you use the toilet.
Elastic laces let you slip in and out of your shoes easily while keeping them tied. The long-handled shoe horn helps you guide your foot into an already-tied or slip-on shoe.
long handled shoe horn1

Your surgeon may have activity precautions for you to follow after surgery. Medical equipment can help you follow these precautions while doing self-care activities. Your physical therapist will help you understand your precautions.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Hip Replacement, eighth edition, ortho-ah-90139
First Published: 10/01/2000
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2020