Best car for severe hip OA

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Hello, I am new here! I’m 66 with severe OA of my right hip and currently waiting for a long overdue hip replacement, scheduled for October. I have a Seat Ibiza car that I love but am finding it increasingly difficult to get in and out of as the seat won’t go back far enough, it’s the lifting my foot over the sill that’s the most painful part. I’m still working full time and have to drive everyday, so am considering changing my car. Can anyone recommend a small car that would be better, one where the door opens fully and the driver’s seat can be pushed right back? Thank you.

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  • anneb82
    anneb82 Member Posts: 317
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    Hello @Nannanic

    Welcome to the online community and thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope that you find this a safe ad secure place to share how you are feeling and what's going on in your life. Please feel free to join in with any current discussions or make your own. We are a friendly bunch and always looking to make new friends.

    So you are 66 years old, are still working and have severe OA of the right hip. You are currently waiting for a overdue hip replacement. You are beginning to struggle with your current car and are looking for recommendations for another vehicle which is small but where the drivers seat pushes straight back and the doors can be fully opened.

    I have to be honest, I'm not really a car person myself and wouldn't have a clue so am unable to personally give you any recommendations. However, I am sure there are other members on here that will be able to give you plenty of advice regarding the best cars for your situation.

    I've included the below link, which details our helpline, just in case you wish to speak to someone from there in the future.

    Please do keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on. Please also keep us posted on your hip replacement.

    Best wishes

    Anne (Moderator)

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    Hi @Nannanic , welcome to this lovely forum. I’m a hip arthur too.

    I’m afraid I’m not very car savvy, but I’ll see if I can help.The problem with pushing the seat right back to get in is you than have to lean forward once you're in to pull it back into driving position (unless you have extremely long legs), which I found extremely painful pre hip op and impossible post op as it meant leaning forward too far, while trying to drag the seat forward using your temporarily compromised leg. Sadly there comes a time, particularly in the worst months pre-op, when we have to adapt. Hopefully this will only need to be short term until youkre over your surgery.

    A few suggestions:

    • Change the way you get in. Go in bottom first, then swing both legs round together. If you put a carrier bag under your bottom you can swivel round quite easily. If necessary, use your hands to help your affected leg over the sill. You may find it easier to move them both together by swivelling your whole body, as it involves less movement of the hip joint.
    • put a raised cushion on your seat - I use a foam wedge cushion, or raise your seat slightly. This will give you a bit of a head start on the sill lift.
    • go round car dealers and simply try sitting in a variety of cars on the forecourt. Getting one with a higher seat position may work for you, the “sit up and beg” Pope-mobile type (no offence intended). There are quite a few mini-SUV types on the market now.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
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    I'd endorse everything Lilymary has said. With virtually everything we must try before we buy but a bit of polythene on the car seat and a bottom first entry always helps. I'd also try to ensure you buy a car with flat seats not ones that go up at the sides. The latter were bad for my husband's hips before his THRs and don't help now that he's got them.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Nannanic
    Nannanic Member Posts: 5
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    Thanks Lilymary, that’s very helpful. I already get in and out of the car as you suggest and swivel, but as I am quite tall it’s bending the leg as I lift it that really hurts, if the seat was further back or the door opened more fully I could possibly do that more easily. I take your point about the leaning forward thing though. I already have the seat raised as high as it will go but will try a cushion as you suggest. I think as you say trying different cars on a forecourt is a good one, though if I could get away without changing it I would prefer to do so; as I said in my original post I love the car and hopefully it will only be temporary. Just some days you think “oh I can cope with this” and on bad days everything is a struggle! By the way, I loved reading your hip replacement diary/blog! The first post could’ve been written by me, the melodramatic limping is definitely me at the moment!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    Hi @stickywicket , I found the foam wedge cushions raise me up enough that the raised sides of the seat don’t impinge on my operation scar or hip. In the early days post op a really fluffy pillow on top of the wedge cushion also helped

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
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    Some modern cars (I can't think which) have a button you can press on the side of the seat to take it backwards and forwards.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    I’m refusing to buy a new car as they don’t have CD players on board anymore, never mind magic seat adjusters! You can imagine how primitive my car is then...😅 Sorry @Nannanic , I got sidetracked!