Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 08:12 pm

Tying Shoes After Hip Replacement: When is it Safe?

Tying Shoes After Hip Replacement: When is it Safe?

Hip replacement surgery makes your daily life slightly tricky in the recovery period. Your caregiver will likely suggest you avoid tying your shoelaces for some time. When you bend to tie your shoes, your hip can feel strained and painful. You might also initially have a limited range of motion and cannot bend enough to tie laces. So when can you tie your shoes after a hip replacement?

Generally, you can tie your shoes anywhere from a few weeks to even a couple of months after hip surgery. The recovery process differs for everyone, and you shouldn’t strain yourself while recovering. Ensure your body is comfortable and rest a lot as you recover.

Tying your shoelaces sooner than you should during your recovery can result in pain and a slowed recovery. Keep reading this article to understand more about tying your shoelaces after a hip surgery. 

Understanding Hip Replacement Surgery

You can get hip replacement surgery or arthroplasty for several reasons that cause pain, discomfort, or strain to the hip joint. 

Arthritis is a major cause of getting hip replacement surgery. Women after menopause often develop osteoarthritis, which causes the hip joint to become stiff and painful. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition in which your body mistakes the proteins of your hip joint for microbes and attacks them. 

A hip replacement surgery can help reduce pain in arthritis. You may also need hip replacement surgery if you get injured in an accident and your hip joint is severely fractured.

It takes around a year to fully regain strength and mobility after hip arthroplasty. The recovery phase is divided into 5 stages:

  • Hospital Stay: You must stay in the hospital for a few days after your hip arthroplasty. During this phase, the doctors check if the surgery went fine and begin physical therapy.
  • Early postoperative phase: This phase starts after surgery and lasts up to 6 weeks. You will not have much mobility and may require crutches or walkers. During this phase, doctors focus on healing your surgical wounds and any pain after the surgery.
  • Intermediate phase: After 6 weeks and up to 3 months of the surgery, your caregivers will train you to increase weight-bearing activities and intensify your physical therapy. Your surgical wounds are expected to be healed by this time.
  • Advanced phase: The advanced phase of recovery states after 3 months after the surgery and lasts for another 3 months. During this phase, the patients start walking without aids. However, they still lack maximum mobility and must engage in physical therapy. Most patients can tie their laces during this phase.
  • Total recovery: The last phase of post-arthroplasty care, full recovery, can take up to a year, depending on the patient. If you regularly take your physical therapy sessions, you will likely fully recover and return to pre-surgery activities in a year.

When Can I Tie My Shoes?

The recovery timeline for every patient is different, and it’s difficult to predict when you can start tying your shoes. But most patients who follow the post-operative care instructions can start connecting their shoes within a few weeks to a few months. This progression generally happens during the intermediate or advanced phase.

During early recovery, bending to tie your shoes will cause pain, discomfort, and strain. However, this activity will gradually become easier as you take your physical therapy sessions and rehabilitate. 

Remember not to try too hard to tie your shoes – if you can’t comfortably bend enough, just try again in a few days or weeks!

3 Factors Affecting the Timeline for Tying Shoes

The expected timeline for each patient to tie their shoes is different and depends on several factors, including:

1. Pre-surgery Condition

The extent of your hip injury or deterioration pre-surgery determines how long it will take for you to recover enough to tie your shoelaces. 

If you already had limited mobility pre-surgery, your recovery time will also take longer as your mobility will get severely restricted after the surgery. 

The rehabilitation time will take longer. Likewise, if you have pre-existing muscle weakness, you will need more time before you can tie your shoes. 

2. Rehabilitation Compliance

The more compliant you are with your rehabilitative care, the faster it will take for you to recover. Ensure you don’t miss a physical therapy session and follow your caregiver’s instructions. 

The exercises will slowly help you regain the flexibility, mobility, and balance required for tying your shoes.

3. Complications

Post-operative complications can increase the expected time for healing. These include an infection, hip dislocation, or the need for more medical interventions. 

Ensure you take your surgeon’s suggested precautions seriously to avoid post-operative complications.

Alternative Methods and Adaptive Devices

While you recover from your arthroplasty, you cannot tie your shoes for some time. Here are some alternative methods you can use in that period. 

  1. Slip-on or Velcro Shoes

Velcro shoes are a great alternative while you are healing. They eliminate the need for tying laces and are convenient for daily use. Slip-on shoes have a flexible opening to put your foot in, while velcro shoes allow for adjustable straps which don’t need tying. 

  1. Elastic or No-tie Shoes

If you like the aesthetic of shoelaces and don’t want to use velcro or slip-on shoes, consider elastic or no-tie shoes! They have laces made up of a stretchable material that automatically adjusts and doesn’t require tying. These shoes provide a secure fit by changing the tensive forces.

  1. Shoe Fasteners

Shoe fasteners are adaptive devices that attach to the end of shoelaces. They make it easier for people with hip issues to wear shoes. They are plastic or metal clips that secure the lace without tying shoelaces.

  1. Shoe Buttons

Shoe buttons are small buttons on shoe laces. Instead of tying your laces, you can simply button and unbutton them. They offer a secure fit without needing to bend. Individuals with motor difficulties and those with a recent hip arthroplasty can use them as an alternative to shoelaces.

Conclusion

Hip replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, is needed if you have severe arthritis or a recent hip injury that limits mobility. After an arthroplasty, you will take some time to recover fully.  

You cannot perform several mundane tasks for the initial few weeks, including tying shoelaces. While it will take a few weeks to regain flexibility and tie shoes after the surgery, the exact timeline varies from case to case. 

Alternative shoes like Slip-on and velcro shoes or adaptive devices like elastic laces, shoe fasteners, or shoe buttons can help you with your footwear needs while recovering. 

FAQs

What Are The Best Shoes to Wear After Hip Replacement?

After hip replacement, consider wearing shoes without laces, like slip-on shoes or velcro shoes. They eliminate the need to bend and tie shoelaces. You can also get no-tie lace shoes. 

Alternatively, you can use your regular shoes but with shoe fasteners or shoe buttons. You can also replace your laces with elastic laces.

How Soon Can I Start Tying My Shoes After Hip Replacement Surgery?

The exact timeline for your recovery will vary from person to person and depends on your pre-surgery condition and compliance with rehabilitative care. A postoperative infection or need for additional medical intervention can also delay the timeline. 

But if all goes well, you can start tying your shoes a few weeks after the surgery. 

2 thoughts on “Tying Shoes After Hip Replacement: When is it Safe?”

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