What is Total Hip Replacement?
Total hip replacement is a surgical procedure, where the worn-out surfaces of the hip are replaced with artificial components. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the bones can wear away, cause pain, and discomfort, and make simple pleasures, like walking, unbearable. Hip replacement can reduce or eliminate pain, allow easier movement and get you back to normal life.
Who is a Candidate for Total Hip Replacement?
Hip replacement surgery may be considered for those suffering from arthritic hip pain that severely limits the activities of daily living. It is recommended only after careful examination and diagnosis for your particular joint problem, and only after more conservative measures such as exercise, physical therapy, and medications have proven ineffective.
What Kind of Hip Implant is Best?
There are many different kinds of designs of hip implants available today and no one design or type is best for every patient or their particular situation. Each Surgeon selects the implant that they believe is best for their patient’s needs based on a number of factors including age, activity level, and the implant’s track record, and his/her comfort with the instruments associated with the particular implant. If you have specific questions regarding implants, Dr. Sarin will be happy to answer them for you.
How long will I be in the hospital?
With improvements in surgical techniques and post-operative care, it is now common for many patients to be able to go home from the hospital after two or three days. If you have both hips replaced at the same time, the stay can be a day or two longer. Of course, each patient is different but the goal should be for you to recover in the privacy and comfort of your own home, as soon as possible.
How long is the recovery period?
Once again, this can vary from person to person, but most people will need to use an ambulation aid, such as a walker, for one to four weeks. Driving may be possible in two to three weeks, and activities such as golf and bowling can be resumed in a as few as ten to twelve weeks. Most people will be able to go straight home from the hospital, though some patients, particularly those who live alone, may need to spend a few days at the rehab center or nursing home. Keep in mind that healing and recovery times can vary.
How successful is hip replacement?
Hip replacement is recognized as one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. In the United States, over 190,000 people have their shoulders replaced each year, and a recent panel of independent experts determined that 90% of those are considered successful.
What are the Risks?
Even though hip replacement surgery is considered a very successful, it is major surgery, and as with any surgery, there are risks you need to be aware of. Possible Complications include:
- Blood Clots in your leg veins
- Implant loosening
- Nerve or blood vessel damage
- Hip Dislocation
- Change of leg length
Your surgeon and healthcare team will be taking care to minimize the risk of these and other complications. Keep in mind that complications are relatively rare, but they need to be understood by you and your family. Dr. Sarin will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
How much does total hip replacement hurt?
You will experience some discomfort after surgery, but be assured we will be doing everything we can to keep you as comfortable as possible. Pain after surgery is quite variable from person to person, and not entirely predictable, but modern medications and improved anesthetic techniques greatly enhance our ability to control pain and discomfort after surgery.
Will in need a Blood Transfusion?
Your surgical team will be doing everything possible to minimize bleeding, but some blood loss after joint replacement is unavoidable. Whether or not a blood transfusion is required will depend greatly on highly individualized factors, including your condition prior to surgery, cardiac history, age, etc. Be sure to discuss these issues with Dr. Sarin.
What other questions do you have?
Just give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. And be sure to ask us about our latest outcomes – we are always pleased to share our results.