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Best Chairs for Recovering from Hip Surgery

Recovering from hip surgery or replacement can take time, and is just as much about observing the right habits before surgery as afterwards. The procedure itself is relatively straightforward compared to knee surgery, and depends on where the fracture has taken place as to the extent of the repair needed.

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Different Types of Hip Fractures and Surgery

In a previous article we covered the main types of hip fractures and surgical procedures needed to repair them. A total hip replacement may even be necessary, which older people are more susceptible to because of weaker and brittle bones. With a full hip replacement, the hip joint is replaced with a titanium implant.


The Importance of Early Mobilisation

It is important to have the right equipment in place to help the patient recover fully, and return to previous levels of mobility as quickly as possible when they are back at home.

Observing the right movements and techniques during the recovery period will maximise future outcomes for the patient, so it is important to use equipment that enables this wherever possible. As well as having the right bed, walking and bathing aids, having the right chair is essential to recovering from hip surgery.


Good Seating Practices Before and After Hip Surgery

The guidelines to follow will usually be set out for you by your doctor or surgeon, but there are some helpful NHS publications online with general advice. Your doctor will give be able to give specific guidance on timeframes and details, but these are some of the general precautions  to observe when recovering from hip surgery or replacement.


  • Don’t bend your knee more than 90 degrees. This will involve having the right height chair, toilet seat, and not bending forward in bed.
  • Raised toilet seat. This inexpensive mobility aid increases your sitting height on the toilet so your hip is not bent more than 90 degrees. Try and get one with armrests, so you can lower yourself down while keeping the affected leg straight.
  • Getting into a chair. When getting into a chair, straighten the affected leg and lower yourself down holding onto the armrests.


  • Don’t bend your knee more than 90 degrees, until advised safe to do so.
  • When getting into a chair, straighten the affected leg and hold onto the armrests to gently lower yourself down.
  • Physiotherapy and OT teams will assist you in formulating your exercise programme and specifying equipment for you to use.
  • As well as carrying out the exercises specified by your physio, take care to observe the correct movements and avoid twisting or crossing your legs.
  • Use the walking aid specified by your physio to avoid falls when moving around.
90 degree sitting angle

90 degree sitting angle

Best Chairs for Hip Surgery Patients

Suitable seating should help the user maintain the correct posture, while making it easy for them to mobilise on and off the chair, so they can recover from surgery as quickly as possible.

A high-backed chair with a head support is usually best for this purpose, with the following features:

  • Seat height adjustment. The hip joint needs to be higher than the knee so the hip doesn’t bend more than 90 degrees, so this is an important metric to get right.
  • Armrest height adjustment. Having the right armrest height is important to help get in and out of the chair easily.
  • Standaid compatible. Having a chair than can be used in conjunction with a standaid like the Sara Stedy is convenient if the user struggles to push themselves out of the chair.

High-Backed Patient Chair

The high-backed patient chair incorporates all these features, as well as a lacquered frame and antimicrobrial fabric that can be wiped down to prevent the spread of infection, and pressure relieving memory foam in the seat to keep the patient comfortable and well positioned.

product shot of the high backed bedside patient chair.

VELA Activity Chair

Another seating option for patients that need to be able to move around the home environment but keep safe from falling is the VELA activity chair.

This chair helps the user keep their whole body positioned forward and move easily around the kitchen when preparing meals, avoiding any twisting or bending movements that could potentially harm the new hip. The brake and anti-tip bar provide extra stability, and the seat height, tilt and back angle can all be adjusted to achieve optimum positioning.

VELA exercise chair product shot.

VELA Activity chair


If you are facing a hip replacement or notice pain or stiffness around the hip joint, it’s important to consult a medical professional and get this assistance you need to protect your health and prepare in the best way possible if surgery is required.

Why not reach out to one of our seating experts for more advice? We are used to working with Occupational Therapists and Physios, specifying seating as part of care plans for people needing surgery.

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Date Published

18 April 2024

Reading Time

4 minutes

Author avatar


Ralph Hulbert

Ralph has many years' experience in the healthcare sector. In a previous life he worked in finance, and his spreadsheet skills come in handy for all the analysis and research he does as he investigates topics and solutions for some of the world's most complex healthcare conditions and challenges. Aside from writing in-depth articles and organising webinars and interviews with top healthcare professionals, Ralph also administrates Vivid's "Healthcare Pioneers Board", a large group of healthcare specialists with multiple disciplines, who are working together to improve care for years to come.

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