When preparing for hip replacement surgery, candidates should practice deep-breathing exercises and ankle pumps. Deep-breathing exercises help to prepare the lungs for surgery, and ankle pumps help to prevent blood clots. These same preoperative exercises are also important after surgery, according to Mercy Health.
Patients exercise their lungs by taking a deep breath in through the nose and then exhaling slowly through the mouth, reports Mercy Health. Repeat the exercise three times every half hour and then cough twice. After surgery, these same exercises help to eliminate fluids that settle in the lungs while the patient is asleep.
Patients perform ankle pumps by flexing the foot back and forth to move the ankle, explains Mercy Health. Repeat this simple exercise at least 1,000 times each day to improve circulation in the legs and ankles. The surgeon may also recommend activities to improve upper body strength. After surgery, patients are dependent on walkers, crutches or other assistance devices to move from one location to another. Upper body strength helps the patient use these devices safely.
Prior to surgery, consider other preparations to make the return home easier, states Mercy Health. Post hip-replacement patients require elevated toilet seats and handrails on the stairs leading into the house. Adding handrails around the toilet and shower sometimes makes it more comfortable when they arrive back home.