Hip replacement surgery, also known as anthroplasty, affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. During a hip replacement surgery, the diseased or injured portion of the hip joint is removed and replaced with an artificial part.
Those who require hip replacement surgery often have many questions before and after surgery. Below are a few frequently asked questions that may help address your concerns:
- Who should have hip replacement surgery? Those who suffer from hip joint damage that causes enough pain to interfere with day-to-day activities. This damage is commonly the result of disease, such as osteoarthritis, or an injury or fracture.
- How should I prepare for the surgery? Once your doctor has ordered a hip replacement surgery, the patient will need to schedule an appointment with their general physician to get medical clearance if required. A month prior to surgery, the patient should begin taking iron tablets twice a day. A few weeks before surgery, the patient will need to meet with the anesthesiologist or nurse to review their medical history, receive a physical exam and have their blood taken. In the days leading up to surgery, the patient should make sure they know exactly when and where the surgery will take place.
- What is the expected recovery time? Hospitalization time for a hip replacement surgery is typically three to five days. However, the full recovery can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on the patient’s specific surgery and their general health. To speed up recovery time, it’s important that patients follow their doctor’s instructions both before and after surgery.
- Are there alternatives to hip replacement surgery? Hip replacement surgery is often a last resort for patients. Your doctor may suggest other methods of treatment prior to surgery, including exercise, walking aids and medication.
- What are the possible complications from this surgery? As with any surgery, hip replacement surgery comes with risks. It’s important to note, however, that advances in surgical technique and technology have significantly reduced the risks involved in hip replacement surgeries. A few possible risks include: hip dislocation, inflammatory reaction to particles from the artificial joints, infection or blood clots. Talk with your doctor prior to surgery about how to recognize potential problems early.
Be sure to stop taking the medications Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade and Plaquinil two weeks before your surgery with your rheumatologist’s approval. One week prior to your surgery, stop taking all aspirin. By staying fully informed, you’ll be doing your part to ensure a successful hip replacement surgery and rehabilitation.