DENVER, CO – May 15, 2013 — Imagine what Paula Spurlock must have been going through. Shortly after having a hip replaced in 2011, the trouble started. “I had horrible itching, really bad migraines and intense pain throughout my body,” she said. “I couldn’t take it. Every single thing in me itched.”
After many months and several trips to specialists, Spurlock was told it could be anything from food allergies to her medication. But no matter what she changed, the symptoms persisted and Spurlock resigned herself to a life of misery. “I just kind of thought that’s what life was going to be like,” she said
New Blood Test Finds Allergies Before Implant Surgery – National Jewish Health
5 Tips for a Successful Hip Replacement Surgery
For starters, choose an experienced surgeon and finish with commitment to physical therapy
Total hip replacements are on the rise. Now, more than 285,000 of the procedures are performed in the United States each year, up more than 25 percent in just five years, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
“Total hip replacement surgery has some of the best results of all major surgeries,” says Paul King, M.D., director of the Joint Center at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md. Insurance, whether Medicare or commercial, usually covers the bill short of the co-pay. What’s more, the implants, whether ceramic-on-ceramic, or metal and highly cross-linked polyethylene, typically last 20 to 25 years.
Physical therapy after hip replacement surgery is one of the keys to a successful recovery. — Photo by Getty Images
Still, a hip replacement shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a big surgery and — as with all surgeries — there can be complications. To boost your chances of having a successful surgery, pay attention to these five things.
1. Choose an experienced surgeon who frequently performs hip replacements
William Washington, 73, of Washington, D.C., had a total hip replacement nine years ago after arthritis had so damaged cartilage in his hip that bolts of pain routinely shot through his back. He’s pain-free now and plays golf regularly, a happy outcome he attributes to his choice of an experienced surgeon. “He had done plenty of these and many people had recommended him,” Washington says. “He’s the mechanic. He knows the way to do it.”
Experience is the key, but how much? At least 30 replacements a year, says Brian Parsley, an orthopedic surgeon in Houston and one of the directors of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. And the surgeon should have done at least 100 procedures, says Justin Cashman, a Maryland orthopedic surgeon. How to find such a surgeon? “Your primary care physician can point you in the right direction,” says Cashman.
5 Steps to a Successful Hip Replacement Surgery – AARP
It’s very important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions. Additionaly, here are some suggestions that may make life a little easier at home. Please discuss these with your surgeon before you are discharged from the hospital:
- Remember that you’ll probably tire more easily than usual. You may want to plan a rest period of 30 to 60 minutes midmorning and mid-afternoon.
- It’s safer and easier to get in and out of chairs using both arms, and you should avoid low or overstuffed furniture. To increase your comfort, use a cushion or pillow to raise your body while seated.
- An elevated toilet seat may reduce stress to your hips as you sit and stand.
- A shelf placed in the shower at chest height help you avoid bending to retrieve items while in the shower.
- A bathtub seat (bench) allows you to sit while bathing for increased safety and comfort.
- A long-handled bath sponge may be used to reach lower legs. Women can also purchase razor extenders for shaving their legs.
- Avoid sweeping, mopping, and running the vacuum cleaner. Use long-handled feather dusters for dusting high and low items. Your doctor will tell you when it is okay to sweep, mop, and vacuum.
- You may ride in a car, but ask your doctor. If yes, you must follow your doctor’s instructions for how to get in and out of the vehicle. You can raise the height of the car seat with pillows to protect your hips. Your doctor will talk with you about when you can drive, typically within four to six weeks after surgery. If you have a car with manual transmission, talk with your doctor about driving limitations. Make sure you can use the brake without discomfort before you attempt to drive in traffic.
- Constipation is a common problem following surgery. This is usually due to your limited activity and any pain medications you may be taking. Discuss your diet with your doctor. It should include fresh fruits and vegetables as well as eight full glasses of liquid each day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Your doctor will probably give you a prescription for pain pills. Please follow your doctor’s instructions concerning these medications.
- Some swelling around the incision is normal. You’ll find it more comfortable to wear loose clothing to avoid pressure on the incision. Ask your doctor or other qualified health professional about appropriate wound care.
Tips For Home After Hip Replacement Surgery