I get a lot of common questions about Hip replacement surgeries. Here are just a few:
How Long will I be in the Hospital?
Most patients will stay a couple of nights and usually go home.
How long does it take to recover from hip replacement surgery?
With minimally invasive techniques it is faster today. I try to get patients up walking within 24 hours. We use multiple pain medicines and a blood thinner to prevent blood clots for a couple of weeks. A little limp for the first couple of weeks and then most patients are walking well by 3 weeks. Many return to work in 4 weeks if it is not too vigorous.
Today’s anesthesia uses multiple approaches to controlling the discomfort of joint replacement surgery. Combinations of medications and injections to “numb” the surgical area have reduced pain after joint replacement surgeries significantly. While you will probably need a pain medication through an IV after surgery for a brief time, most patients are taking mild pain medications by mouth within in a couple of days and stopping those after a couple of weeks.
Does the type of approach matter?
While there are many ways to approach the hip to replace it, the goal is the same for everyone; A safe replacement that relieves pain and is stable. Anterior approach hip replacement is not new, it has been around a long time and has it’s pros and cons. Many surgeons including myself use a traditional posterior approach albeit much smaller now with minimally invasive techniques. The most important thing is that your orthopedic surgeon is familiar and confident with their approach. The results statistically have been shown to be the same in comparable experienced surgeons hands.
Does the brand of hip replacement matter?
There are many brands of joint replacement parts. All of them recreate the normal ball and socket of your hip. The most important thing is that your surgeon has experience and familiarity with the brand he uses. As with any task the more you repeat it the better you get. Don’t worry too much about all the marketing you hear in the media for specific brands, ask your surgeon why he uses a certain brand. There is also a lot of buzz about defective hip replacements in the news, I will address this in another post, but ask your surgeon if you have concerns.
Don’t shy away from a discussion with your orthopedic surgeon about your hip pain and the possibility of hip replacement, ask questions and participate in the solution! If you would like to talk with me about your hip, get in touch and lets go over the issues and find a solution together. If you have a good story about your hip replacement experience share it with all of us.