Every day, hundreds of people across the United States undergo a total hip replacement surgery. If you have consulted with your physician and determined that you are a candidate for this operation, you are certainly not alone; however, knowing that this is a common procedure hardly prepares you for the surgery, the recovery, and the healthy lifestyle you should lead in order to make your hip replacement last you for many years to come. At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, our doctors have extensive knowledge and experience in total hip replacement surgery, and we believe that sharing our knowledge with you, our patients, is an essential part of guaranteeing the effectiveness of the operation.
Common Questions About Total Hip Replacement Surgery
How can I be sure that a hip replacement is right for me?
Many people experience a level of pain that interferes with their daily activities, resulting from damage to their hip joints. Common causes of this hip pain are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bone tumors
- And other injuries that cause the hip joint to deteriorate
However, not all such cases call for a total hip replacement surgery. While these operations used to be reserved for individuals over sixty years of age, medical advancements have delivered hip replacements that can withstand levels of activity at much younger ages and lifestyles. Some of the primary factors that might indicate that someone is not a good candidate for hip replacement are:
Chronic diseases (Parkinson’s disease, for example), which may increase the likelihood of recurrent dislocation of the prosthetic hip joint
Overall poor health, especially a high susceptibility to infections, which may pose a threat to the recovery process
Severe muscle weakness, which may lead to accidents that threaten the replacement hip joint
If any of these conditions apply to you, or if you have any reason to believe that you might not be a candidate for hip replacement, discuss your concerns with your doctor before moving forward with your total hip replacement surgery.
What can I expect from my hip replacement surgery?
Hip Replacement is a surgery that vastly improve the quality of life of our patients. Even in cases where damage is severe prior to surgery, a total hip replacement can increase mobility, significantly reduce or eliminate pain, and allow the patient to resume his or her daily routine with confidence.
Are there any alternatives to surgery that I should consider?
If you still have relatively good mobility, you may be able to take steps to avoid surgery, or to delay the operation for a few more years. Your doctor should advise you on these options. In many cases, exercise, improvements to your diet, walking aids (such as canes or walkers), and medications for pain control can help you achieve your desired mobility without undergoing surgery. Depending on the current condition of your hip, it may not need replacement.
What do I need to know about recovery from total hip replacement surgery?
Barring any unusual circumstances or complications, you should expect to spend about 1 to 2 days in the hospital to recover from your surgery. Following the operation, you will most likely be able to sit on your bed and be able to walk within a day after the procedure.
The recovery process takes quite a bit longer, of course. Most patients take between 3 and 6 weeks to obtain the desired mobility and pain relief that allows them to return to their regular activities. Healing depends on many factors, including exercise, diet, the extent of damage prior to your operation, and how well you follow your doctor’s advice for recovery.
Where can I find more information on hip replacements?
One of your best resources is just a phone call away at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. We are happy to answer all of your questions and help you determine whether a total hip replacement surgery is the best option for you. Contact us
today to learn more about how you might benefit from a hip prosthesis.