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Frequently Asked Questions

Hip Replacement Surgical Questions

The Arthritis Institute is proud to help others through education. These that follow contain general information. Consult your doctor about specific treatments and any questions regarding your care.

Joint Replacement at the Arthritis Institute Questions


Question: My hip is feeling great and I am now six weeks after surgery and walking a mile a day. I have not been on a walking program before and I am not sure if my shoes are giving me the support that I need. They are just a plain pair of tennis shoes that I had for about 10 years. Any suggestions?

Answer: Ten-year old tennis shoes are probably not providing adequate support for a walking program. Shoes for walking are different. They must be designed for walkings' specific heel-to-toe biomechanics. That means more protection in engineering for heel strike and more emphasis on a solid platform of roomy comfort and support. There is a difference between walking and running shoes. Walking shoes have more rigidity in the front so you can roll off your toes rather than bending through them as you do in running shoes. Walking shoes need extra shock absorption in the heel of the shoe and especially under the ball of the foot to help prevent heel pain. A shoe with a slightly rounded sole or rocker bottom can help to smoothly shift weight from the heel to the toe as you walk. Frequent a shoe store with a knowledgeable sales staff, preferably a staffer who walks themselves for fitness. Rate style low on your appeal list. Some shoes that look great can fall apart quickly. Some shoe companies will tack on bizarre styling or design features for marketing razzle-dazzle. Ignore that. Look for solid construction, intelligent design and biomechanical correctness.

Some other hints for shoe shopping:

  1. Measure your feet. Measure both length and width, at least once per year. Don't assume you know your current shoe size. Size may vary between shoe models. Don't hesitate to try on a few in a size other than what measuring indicates. Take measurements at the end of the day when feet tend to be more swollen.
  2. Try walking shoes on with the same thickness of socks you intend to wear.
  3. Women should check for adequate room in the ball of the foot and a snug heel fit. Women tend to be wider in the ball of the foot with narrower heels.
  4. Walk in the shoes at your fitness walking pace to gage fit under typical walking conditions.

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Question: Can I sleep on my side after having hip replacement surgery?

Answer: Yes. Patients can begin sleeping on their side during their hospitalization. Many hip replacement patients feel comfortable sleeping on their nonoperative leg. Pillows help the comfort of the operated leg which can be sore and feel heavy for 1-2 weeks.

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