Living with chronic pain from hip arthritis can limit you from doing what you love to do, or even what you need to do. If you have already tried pain medications, exercise, physical therapy, and even pain-relief injections but are still having trouble getting around, then you will want to consider talking to your orthopedic doctor about hip surgery.
Orthopedic surgeons treat all disorders of the bones, joints, and muscles. The first hip replacement surgery was performed decades ago, and today it is one of the most common and most successful orthopedic surgeries performed.
Of course, an informed patient is a more successful patient. The following is a list of questions you can ask your orthopedic doctor about this life-changing surgery – one that will get you moving again:
How Will a Hip Replacement Help Me?
There are many treatments to help mitigate hip pain and to slow down the progression of hip arthritis pain. These include anti-inflammatory medications, heat therapy, massage, creams and ointments, exercise, physical therapy, and pain-relief injections.
However, if you have gone through all of these but you are still living in pain, you could be ready for hip replacement surgery. Your orthopedic doctor will be able to give you a true evaluation of why you need hip replacement surgery and how it would benefit your lifestyle.
Don’t ever believe that getting older means that you should expect to live in pain. Chronic pain can ruin your quality of life and can even cause depression and other health problems. It can interfere with sleep and make it hard for you to simply take care of yourself. Having a new hip can bring a new lease on life, because you will have drastically less pain or no pain at all, and you will be able to walk and move so much more easily.
What Will You Do During the Surgery?
The first hip replacement surgery was performed in the 1960s, and there have been numerous advances since then. Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint consisting of the head of your thighbone (femur) resting inside the socket in your pelvis, and a hip replacement involves your orthopedic surgeon removing the damaged tissues of your joint and replacing them with artificial parts. These components are generally made of metal, ceramic, plastic, or a combination of these materials.
There are many ways for your surgeon to perform a hip replacement, from minimally invasive and computer-guided procedures to more traditional methods. Ask your orthopedic surgeon about the procedure they are planning for you, how long they think it will take, and what they expect to fix.
What Are the Risks of Hip Surgery?
Everyone is different, so ask your surgeon if there is anything in particular that you are at risk for. As with all surgeries, infection is always a possibility – so be sure to care for your incision area exactly as your surgeon explains. Ask about when the dressing will come off and when you can get it wet. You should also understand what symptoms to watch for during recovery.
Another possible complication after hip replacement surgery is developing a blood clot. Ask your surgeon whether you will be taking medication for this (such as blood thinners) or if there are other ways to help prevent clots.
How Long Will I Be in the Hospital?
When it comes to hip replacement surgery, there are a lot of factors that are considered into how long you will be in the hospital – including which type of procedure is performed and your overall health. Patients used to spend around three days in the hospital, but today this surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure so you’ll go home later that day, and even a hospital stay is typically just one night at this point.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Make My Recovery Easier and Quicker?
The most important thing you can do is to follow your orthopedic surgeon’s recommendations as well as your physical therapist’s instructions. Take your medications as prescribed, avoid doing things you are told to avoid, perform your physical therapy exercises as recommended, and follow up with your surgeon.
Hip Replacement Surgeon in the Triangle
If you have hip arthritis and unbearable hip pain, our friendly team is here to answer any questions you have about treatment, including hip replacement surgery. To seek the expert advice of Dr. Brett Gilbert about your unique concerns, contact us today by calling us at (919) 788-8797 or request an appointment online, and let us help you start living pain-free once again!