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
You get ready for a date. You prepare for tasks and meetings at work. How do you prepare for visits to your health care provider?
The first step is to find a health care provider you feel comfortable with. If you can share how you feel, both physically and emotionally, then you and your health care provider can work together as partners in your health care.
A basic plan for your visit can help. Before you arrive, make a list of things you want to talk about. Put your questions in order, so you are sure to ask about the most important ones first.
During your visit, explain your symptoms: what is bothering you, when it started, and if you have noticed any pattern. Ask for clear explanations about your condition, any medication or treatment, and instructions on how to recover after an illness, injury, or hospital procedure.
Consider bringing a family member or friend. Let them know in advance what you want from your visit. With good communication, you and your health care provider can team up to make sure you get the best health care possible.
Having a Hip Replacement
Tips on getting through a joint replacement
Published on January 30, 2012 by Paul Thagard in Hot Thought
I’m currently preparing for my second hip replacement to take place in February, remembering the lessons learned from my first one in April, 2011. My younger brother is also getting a new hip in February, so I’m writing this to help him and other people go through a difficult but worthwhile experience. My replaced right hip works wonderfully, free of the pain that started in 1995 and grew steadily worse. There are many Web pages that provide valuable medical information, but in this post I want to focus on practical advice about getting how to manage the whole process.
For medical advice, let me suggest these pages:
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hip-replacement/MY00235
My Joint Replacement: http://www.myjointreplacement.ca/
My goal in this post is to provide practical suggestions to deal with matters that the medical sites don’t much discuss.
Having a Hip Replacement | Psychology Today
Leveraging ePatient Communications
Posted by bryonmain on February 28th, 2013
As social media in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry becomes more widespread, a growing trend is ePatient communication. The internet has become the go-to source of information for many people; that holds true as they research diagnoses, check up on current research, and connect with others for support.
Citizen bloggers, with a particular diagnosis, educate themselves, and are a key source of information for others with a similar diagnosis. In the digital age, where nearly everyone has a smartphone, these “man on the street” blogs offer a personal voice, answering questions and addressing areas of concern, as well as offering support. Patient bloggers, read by a wide range of patients and caregivers, can be a key source of internet buzz, when they offer a review or opinion on a new therapy or drug treatment option. Pharmaceutical companies can network with these bloggers, gaining both a platform for patient marketing, but also a window into the concerns and trends patients notice.
Leveraging ePatient Communications | Digital Pharma Blog
Researchers are developing new ways to manage OA and gaining insight into its causes.
By Susan Bernstein
Humans have dealt with the pain, stiffness and swelling of osteoarthritis, or OA, for ages. Yet researchers still study the disease vigorously with the goals of finding more about what causes OA, what steps may help people prevent OA and what new treatments may alleviate its symptoms and halt joint damage. In recent months, news on OA treatment developments and insight into the disease’s possible causes, and what may prevent it, have emerged.
Most important, researchers now have a deeper understanding of OA, a concept called patho-mechanics, and this knowledge affects OA treatment development. At the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) State-of-the-Art Symposium held in April 2010 in Chicago, lecturers noted OA must be viewed as a combination of how your body’s mechanics work, how your genes may have set you up to develop OA, and outside factors that can affect your bone, cartilage and various tissues and lead to the disease.
The November 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in Atlanta featured reports from a number of researchers who are digging deeper in OA’s mysteries and its possible treatment.
Osteoarthritis Treatments, Medications | Osteoarthritis Research
Hip replacement, or arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the disease parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts, called prosthesis. The goal of hip replacement surgery is to increase mobility, relieve pain, and improve the function of the hip joint. People who have hip joint damage that interferes with their daily activities and are not benefitting from treatment are candidates for hip replacement surgery. The most common cause of hip joint damage is , but other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis (the death of bone caused by insufficient blood supply), injuries, bone tumors, and fractures can also lead to the breakdown of the hip joint. Doctors used to reserve hip replacement surgery for people over 60 years old. They thought that older people are less active and put less stress on the artificial hip than younger people. In recent years, however, doctors have found that hip replacement surgery can be successful in younger people because technology has improved the artificial parts. Today a person’s overall health and activity level is more important than age in predicting a hip replacement’s success. (Source: www.niams.hih.gov)
Hip surgery flip! The newest replacement approach | Health – Home
If you’ve received a blood transfusion, had lifesaving radiation therapy, experienced a natural birth or even lost weight by counting calories, you have used one of the many health innovations given to us by women in medicine.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Healthy Living staff has been thinking about the accomplishments of the women who pioneered work in the sciences. As health journalists, we believe that all doctors and researchers deserve more recognition for their contributions to society. And as women, we can’t help but notice that our gender can affect the way we’re treated in these disciplines — from colleague discrimination to legislation aimed at lessening the control female patients have over their bodies, it can sometimes feel as though we’re living in a previous era.
That is, until we realize what previous generations actually went through. Take for example the story of Rosalind Franklin: the geneticist’s strides in X-ray photography led to the best images of DNA strands of her era, but coworker Maurice Wilkins shared her images with a competing team at Cambridge, who used it to help solve the mystery of how DNA is structured. It wasn’t until decades later that Franklin was recognized for her contribution — well after her death and after that competing team (along with Wilkins) were awarded the Nobel Prize.
Now, we live in a country where half of medical school graduates are women and a country where we value — have actually written into law — retelling the accomplishments of women in our own history. So we decided to celebrate by bringing together a list of 50 women who have had the greatest impact in medicine and health research and have, in the process, taught us about our own bodies.
50 Women Who Shaped America’s Health
Only 16 percent of U.S. hospitals were able to say how much a hip operation would cost a potential patient when asked, and those that answered quoted prices that differed by more than $100,000, a study found.
As more Americans are asked to foot a bigger portion of their health-care bills, being able to comparison shop is essential, said Peter Cram, the study’s author. The research, reported yesterday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, shows the obstacles patients face in trying to lower their medical costs.
“Hospitals, they aren’t used to this request,” said Cram, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, in a Feb. 8 telephone interview. “Our finding should inspire people to the fact that you should ask about prices even if you have insurance. People should demand more.”
Hip-Replacement Prices Blindfolds Patients, Study Finds – Businessweek