Background and purpose — There is a lack of evidence to support the role of hip precautions in preventing dislocation following total hip arthroplasty (THA). We report an exploratory study which assesses recall, adherence, and the impact of precautions on activities of daily living in the first 6 weeks postoperatively. Patients and methods — We designed a new questionnaire based on the education patients receive and refined by professionals within our multidisciplinary team. 129 patients underwent primary elective THA during the study period and received the questionnaire at 6 weeks postoperatively. Results — 97 (75%) patients responded before the 8th week postoperatively. Most of these (83 patients) could remember all the precautions. Of the 97 who responded only 22 claimed to adhere to all of the precautions. 48 admitted to putting their own underwear on without the use of aids or assistance, and 38 had started walking without an aid. Due to the precautions 67 avoided leaving the house at some point and 63 were unable to perform desired activities. 84 stated that their sleep was affected. There were no dislocations among the 97 patients who responded; however, there was 1 dislocation among the 32 non-responders. Interpretation — We found that most patients did not adhere to hip precaution advice. Precautions have a detrimental effect on patient activity and sleep. In view of the limited efficacy in reducing dislocation rate, we question the use of precautions in the primary arthroplasty setting.
- Centre for Surgical Research