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Joint and Spine Center
What is hip replacement?
Who should have a hip replacement?
Is there an alternative to hip replacement?
How long is the hospital stay?
How long is recuperation?
Will I need a blood transfusion?
What is the success rate?
Are there complications?
What about pain?
Where do I go when I leave the hospital?
Should my hip replacement be cemented?
It is a metal and plastic covering for raw, arthritic bone ends. It replaces cartilage that has worn away over the years. Hip replacement can eliminate pain and allow you to move easily with less discomfort.
When arthritis-related hip pain severely limits your ability to walk, work, or perform even simple activities, hip replacement may be considered.
Hip replacement is only recommended after careful diagnosis of your joint problem and after non-surgical treatments have failed to provide adequate relief. Depending on the severity of your disease, non-surgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections may not give you the same long-term relief that hip replacement will.
The average hospital stay for a hip replacement patient is around 2-3 days. Each case is different and will be managed individually.
Recovery varies with each person. You will use a walker as your physical therapy starts and are allowed to progress at your own pace. Most patients are walking with a cane within 2-4 weeks. You can drive a car in 2-4 weeks.
In general, patients gradually increase their activities and resume activities such as golf, doubles tennis, shuffleboard, or bowling within 12 weeks. More active sports, such as singles tennis and jogging are not recommended.
The need for blood transfusions after hip replacement surgery depends greatly on very individualized factors. The majority of hip replacement patients do not require a transfusion after surgery, but you should be prepared to receive one if your doctor thinks that it is medically necessary. If you have concerns about blood transfusion, you should discuss them with your surgeon.
Hip replacement has an outstanding track record. Most hip replacements successfully relieve the pain of arthritis for 15-20 years, depending on circumstances.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of complication after hip replacement surgery. However, complications are quite rare. Some of the risks associated with hip replacement include infection, bleeding, dislocation, blood clots, and a change in the length of your leg. Many precautions are taken to minimize the chance of any and all of these potential risks. Overall, the chance of any of these complications occurring is very low.
Great advances have been made in the management of post-operative pain. A multi-modal approach keeps the majority of patients relatively comfortable, even immediately following surgery. It is not possible to eliminate all of the pain associated with a major surgery like hip replacement; but we have made great strides in our ability to successfully minimize that pain.
Most patients return to their homes after being discharged from the hospital. At home, patients are supported by a visiting nurse, as well as a therapist. For patients who are not able to return directly home, alternative arrangements are made, often dictated by health insurance company guidelines. Options include acute in-patient rehabilitation or a skilled nursing facility. The Joint Care Center's social worker will help you sort through this issue following surgery.
Hip replacements are successfully performed with cemented components as well as with uncemented components. Your surgeon will discuss which technique is best for your specific situation.