How to Use a Toilet After Hip Replacement

How to Use a Toilet After Hip Replacement

Are you or a loved one faced with a hip replacement? Wondering how to use a toilet after hip replacement surgery?

This post will detail how to use a toilet after a hip replacement surgery. Specifically, we will cover the equipment needed, transfer technique, and hygiene considerations.

A toilet “transfer”, as it is commonly known in the medical field, is simply the process of getting on and off a toilet and the process can be intimidating if you have never had the guidance of a medical professional.

But have no fear! I’ll show you how.

If you prefer a video how-to, please check out my video on my YouTube Channel.

Let’s get started!

Overview

Estimated Time: 15 minutes (for equipment installation and setup)

Estimated Cost: $77* USD

Please note: Before we begin, you need to make sure you follow all the instructions and warnings provided by the manufacturer.  The steps below are only to provide guidance with installing or assembling equipment, but you should always follow the warnings and instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Disclaimer: Always talk to your medical professional before deciding or changing the medical equipment that you utilize and how you should use it.

Supplies Needed

2 wheeled walker
2-Wheeled Walker
clamp on raised toilet seat
NOVA clamp-on raised toilet seat
Toilet wand for toilet hygiene
Toilet wand for extended reach toileting hygiene.

Steps

  1. Prepare Equipment
  2. Stand in-front of toilet
  3. Extend Surgically Repaired Leg
  4. Slowly Lower Yourself onto Toilet
  5. Transfer off of Toilet

Step 1: Prepare Equipment

For any hip replacement recovery scenario, I recommend the purchase of a toilet seat riser. If you already own a “comfort height” toilet (17 in/43 cm to 18 in/46 cm) and your height is 5 feet 2 inches/63 centimeters or shorter, you may not need a toilet seat riser.

Consider your situation and ensure that you will keep a 90 degree hip precaution when you sit on the toilet.

Even if you have access to a comfort height toilet, you may still want to utilize toilet safety rails. Below is an example of a common toilet safety rail. If you are interested in more information, we have a post all about toilet safety rail installation.

Toilet Safety Rails
Toilet safety rails without a toilet seat riser.

The vast majority of people will require a toilet seat riser. For the toilet that I will be demonstrating on, I will be installing the Nova Toilet Seat Riser with Arms. This particular toilet seat riser will give us about 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) of added height.

Remember, in order to ensure that you do not break your 90 degree hip precaution, you will need to find a riser that raises the height of your toilet seat to 17-18 inches (43-46 centimeters).

clamp on raised toilet seat
Clamp-on toilet seat riser with hand rails.

You will need to install the toilet riser before you attempt to transfer onto the toilet. Consider buying a toilet seat riser ahead of time and attempting to install it, or have a caregiver install it, before your hip replacement. This planning will make the process easier when you are home and do not need to wait for someone to install your toilet riser in order to use the toilet. We do have an existing post on how to install a clamp-on toilet seat riser.

The other piece of equipment I recommend for hip replacement recovery is a walker. If you are recovering from any kind of surgery, they are going to recommend you keep the walker with you to prevent you from slipping or making any dangerous, unsupported movements in the bathroom. In this case, we will be demonstrating with a simple, inexpensive 2-wheeled walker.

Step 2: Stand in front of toilet with walker

To start to transfer onto the toilet, you need to position yourself and the walker in front of the toilet facing away from the toilet.

Stand in front of the toilet with your walker - Toilet Transfer Hip Replacement
Stand in front of your toilet facing away from it with your walker

Step 3: Extend surgically repaired leg

Next, and this is very important, extend your surgically repaired leg out front.

Reach back and find a solid surface which could be a countertop next to the toilet or the handles on the toilet seat and place one hand one of those surfaces. Your other hand can remain on the walker or on another solid surface like the handles of the toilet seat.

Extend Surgically Repaired Leg and find solid surfaces to hold - Toilet Transfer Hip Replacement
Extend your surgically repaired leg and carefully reach to find solid surfaces to place your hands like a counter or the handles of the toilet seat

Step 4: Slowly Lower Yourself onto Toilet

Slowly lower yourself onto the toilet. Keep extending your leg out while you lower yourself down. Having a toilet seat riser allows you to keep your hip at 90 degrees or higher.

Slowly lower yourself onto toilet - Toilet Transfer Hip Replacement
Slowly lower yourself onto the toilet ensuring that your hip does not bend beyond the 90 degree hip precaution

Bonus: Hygiene Recommendation

When you are done toileting, it is very important to not bend forward or twist causing your hip to bend beyond 90 Degrees.

With the side handles on the toilet seat, you can lean to one side for a side approach to hygiene.

Another great option is installing a bidet which you can do with a raised toilet seat with some careful consideration.

toileting after hip replacement position for hygiene
Leaning to the side opposite the surgically repaired hip will keep the angle greater than 90* for hygiene.

Step 4: Transfer Off of Toilet

When you are finished toileting, you still need to be careful transferring off the toilet.

To raise yourself off of the toilet, first make sure your surgical leg is extended out and your strong leg is as far back as it can go.

With both hands on the toilet seat handles or another sturdy surface, push yourself up and transfer one hand at a time to the walker.

Do NOT pull on the walker. Pulling on the walker may make it unstable.

toilet transfer after hip replacement position for beginning to stand
Begin to stand by extending the surgically repaired leg and grabbing the walker with 1 hand.
toilet transfer after hip replacement sit on toilet
Press up from the toilet hand rails and begin to stand using the walker for support.
toilet transfer after hip replacement stand
Stand with both hands on the walker to ensure balance before attempting to walk.

That’s it! You now know how to use a toilet after a hip replacement. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of my video on how to complete a toilet transfer after a hip replacement and I will try to respond back.

Note: This post contains affiliate links that provide a small commission without any added cost to the user.

*all prices are at the time of publishing