Do I really need a shower chair?

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Mar 19, 2011
Minnesota USA
I am getting ready for LTHR 4/13/11. Do I really need a shower chair? What about a cane. I got the elevated toilet seat. What else do I need? What things are recommended that I don't need? I would appreciate any advice. As you can tell, I really like to plan ahead! Thanks.
Hi Limpy, I also just picked up a shower chair, raised toilet seat, crutches, walker, grabber. I was told I need all that. I'll be having surgery the end of May, and I don't think I need a sock aid for the summer. My friend will lend me her hip pillow (whatever that is). I am already using a cane. I believe we need a shower chair for stability. Good luck.
I think a lot will depend on you and how stable you feel while standing post-op.

My first post-op shower, I didn't use the chair. Frankly, I was more worried about getting out of the chair than standing. The last couple of showers, though, I've sat in the chair and really enjoyed being able to relax my muscles in the the warm water and steam, which I couldn't do if I was concentrating on keeping my balance.
Yes, I think that's the biggy...balance! I already had grab bars installed BUT had no idea how dizzy you can get while on the narcotic meds.

I remember shutting my eyes while I washed my face and thank goodness I was on the chair!

I also didn't plan on being non weight bearing on the THR leg for 6 weeks so the chair was a life saver.

I did have all the aids...offered as a package at the hospital...long handle sponge, long handle shoe horn, elastic shoe laces.

The sock aid is very necessary if you are going to have to wear compression stockings for swelling after the surgery so you may want to rethink that as well.

Also, flip flops or the like. are a no no for this summer. Too much of a tripping risk.

I also have a hand held shower hose that was a BIG help for showering while sitting or standing. I think you can buy ones that attach to a regular faucet.

There is a thread in here or perhaps a few where this subject has been discussed. Do a "search" of a particular word or words and you will find more.

I think we had all sorts of things discussed in a "Gotta Laugh" thread that I started way back in my early recovery. Good luck.
Thanks Cathy, I didn't consider the relaxation aspect. It just seemed like one more scary thing to navigate. Good thought.
Thanks Janet. Maybe I should get that sock aide and give my poor husband a break! Serriously thanks for the tips. I am freaking out and a little retail therapy puts me at ease. ( Even if it is toilet seats and shower chairs)
Awww...don't freak out. It is perfectly normal to feel the way you are right now. You'll be just fine.

And you'll have all your Bone Smart friends to help you thru it :WINK1:!

You know, I did the same thing a little over a year ago...gave Amazon a lot of business. I should have checked with the hospital first though, because they offered a pre-op class and I found out I could buy most of the stuff right at the hospiatl at a discount.

The I went to a rehab and the whole package was given to me! So it may be worth making a phone call to the hospital...
I am from the "knee side", but I can tell you that when I was recovering from my BTKR, I absolutely loved sitting in a hot shower and letting the hot water soak away my aches and pains---the heat from the water also allowed me to loosen up and stretch some muscles, too. I would just sit there and let the hot water soak my issues with recovery away.
I missed your question about a cane - I had been using on for a couple of months prior to surgery, so I do have one and I use it for climbing the stairs in my house, but PT will help you with the mobility items you need.

What kind of elevated toilet did you get? Just make sure you get something with arms. I got the one that fits completely over the toilet (and could be used as a bedside commode).

Don't worry too much. Just stop by and ask us about your concerns.
I agree with everyone else that a shower chair is really useful for the first couple of weeks for safety reasons. I would also recommend a walker for a little while as well - I used one for about a month, leaning on it less and less, then was able to walk perfectly well without a cane after that. Good luck.
Dear Limpy,

Don't want to ruin your Retail Therapy, but you might want to check with your Insurance Carrier before you go on a shopping spree. Many US policies cover the cost of prescribed devices. Many hospitals issue/ dispense the items your OS orders. Save the money for a New Hip Party.

Either way the shower seat is a nice addition or at least a non-slip mat for the tub.

Your on the short list now. Keep posting.

Be Well

Hi there! Before I went in for surgery, I kept a wee note of all the things I found I had to reach down to and which were fairly essential, toiletries etc in low cupboards - anything which meant a 90 degree angle really - and moved them all! Retail shopping - lovely. :biggrin:
Hi Limpy

Great name by the way :snork: I was due to get a shower seat but unfortunately my bath rim was to small, when my physio in hospital found this out she taught me how to climb in and out of the bath for a shower which I have coped with ok.
Bending my good leg to get in followed by my op leg straight as possible.
Hi Limpy
I pondered about a shower/bath chair too, but if I hadn't of got one, I sure would have been one smelly person..:th_heehee:

Really, it was so necessary and I used it for a few weeks, maybe longer.. my timeframe memory is dimishing rapidly when it comes to my hip recovery..
Thanks Catherine! I too have been keeping note of low things. I have also been nagging my 16 year old " in a few weeks I won't be able to pick this stuff up anymore! " Hopefully the list will be more effective then the nagging! :th_heehee:

Laurie (Limpy)
Thanks Jack! It would take waaaayy more then that to ruin my retail therapy! The guy who ran the joint replacement class said that chair and seat would not be covered but I will check anyway. Not sure why I was so willing to take his word. Thanks for all your positive messages.
Thanks Thomasinaa! I am so happy to hear that only a few months after surgery your memories about your recovery are hard to recall! That totally boosts my spirits.
Hi Limpy
Glad I could help lift your spirits.. Honestly, some days I rarely give my hip a thought. I can barely remember the early day's of recovery and all the restrictions. I was so worried about everything, but the folks here at Bonesmart helped ease those worries alot and they were always there when needed, even in the middle of the night.

I had 6 weeks of restrictions, but did find ways to pick things up off the floor.. and of course, the reacher was great.. I remember telling Jamie I should duct tape it to my arm as I used it so much.. :th_heehee:
Hi Limpy

I can only tell you about my journey so far and I truly would be dead in the water so to speak without my chair and cane and saran wrap for keeping the bandages dry.

I would be scared to take a chance without the chair, one slip could be disastrous. Just my opinion though. Good luck with everything, take care...JackiesLost
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