Hip Replacement Facts You May Not Know
Hip replacement is one of the most successful surgeries in all of medicine. Fact or fiction? According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it’s true. And doctors perform the surgery on more than 300,000 Americans every year. That’s a lot of people who find relief from hip pain and return to their active lives. If this surgery might be in your future, here are some hip replacement facts you should know.
1. Hip replacement isn’t just for ‘old people.’
Hip replacement surgery relieves pain and improves mobility in people with diseased or damaged hip joints. Arthritis and hip joint injuries are common causes of these hip problems. And these conditions aren’t limited to older adults. In fact, the rate of total hip replacement in middle-aged adults—45 to 54 years—more than doubled between 2000 and 2010. This age group also accounts for an increasing percentage of total hip replacements. What’s more, adults in this age group had a shorter average hospital stay compared to older adults.
2. Hip replacement takes preparation.
Hip replacement surgery will require some preparation. If you’re overweight, you should try to shed some extra pounds before surgery. It will reduce stress on your new joint. Regardless of your weight, you can improve your safety and comfort during your recovery by preparing your home as well. Remove tripping hazards, such as cords and rugs. Make things convenient by getting a reacher, dressing stick, and long-handled bathing sponge. Your doctor can give you other ideas. Check with your insurance company too, to arrange coverage of a walker or toilet seat ahead of surgery.
3. Hip replacement can be minimally invasive.
New techniques allow doctors to perform hip replacement using minimally invasive surgery. This means you will have a smaller incision instead of one large one. It also means you may recover quicker and with less pain than traditional surgery. In general, ideal candidates are thin, young and healthy although you can still be a candidate for hip replacement regardless of weight or age. You also need to be committed to a thorough rehab program. Dr. James Loging, MD at Palmetto Bone and Joint was the first surgeon in South Carolina to perform Anterior Hip Replacement and is the most skilled and trusted surgeon in South Carolina when it comes to this minimally invasive hip replacement surgery. Dr. Loging believes all patients deserve the benefit of anterior hip replacement and patients come from all over to have him replace their hip.
4. Hip replacement recovery used to be lengthy, but it doesn’t have to be anymore.
In the past, it would take numerous weeks to return to normal activities, including work. You would need a lot of assistance during this time. You wouldn’t be able to drive. Daily activities would be challenging, especially during the first six weeks. Some people would have benefited from staying in a rehabilitation center before returning home. However, now with Anterior Hip Replacement surgery, you will be able to perform more daily activities quicker and have a much faster recovery compared to traditional posterior approach hip replacements and even faster compared to hip resurfacings. Hip replacements are now even done outpatient and you’re able to recover in the comfort of your own home with a personal nurse and therapist coming to your house to work with you.
5. You’ll be walking within a few hours of surgery.
Walking will be a high priority during recovery, even right after surgery. In the hospital, your nurse will get you up and moving within a day of surgery. However, you won’t be walking on your own. You will use a walker or other support for a few weeks. Gradually, you will be able walk longer, farther, and with more stability. Walking helps prevent blood clots and strengthens your hip as you heal. Walking and rehab exercises will be a daily part of your recovery and your team will give you goals. Meeting those goals will speed your recovery.
6. Health insurance usually covers hip replacement.
Many people wonder about hip replacement cost. Check with your insurance company to find out about your coverage. Most plans will cover a medically necessary hip replacement. This includes Medicare and Medicaid. Palmetto Bone and Joint will work with you to provide any necessary paperwork before surgery. Your insurance provider will have information about your out-of-pocket costs. This may include copays, deductibles and co-insurance (your portion of the expense after your copay and meeting your deductible).
7. Life will be different after a hip replacement.
A hip replacement can greatly improve your quality of life. Most people return to an active lifestyle with little or no pain and stiffness. But life can be different in other ways as well. High-impact activities are not good for your new hip. If you are a runner or play basketball, you may need to find alternatives however this can be discussed with our doctors. You may also find that your walking gait is different or you have a limp. Physical therapy rehab exercises can help correct this. Being diligent about your exercises will strengthen the supporting muscles and improve your flexibility. Eventually, your gait will feel normal again.
8. Hip replacements can last for decades.
Hip implants are mechanical devices, so they can and do wear out. But the implants used by our surgeons have been reported to last up to 30 years. And you can take steps to prolong the life of your hip implant. Maintaining a healthy weight will keep extra stress off the implant. Avoiding high-impact and contact sports will protect the implant from damage. Staying active and exercising will strengthen your hip muscles and stabilize the implant. It’s also important to see your orthopedic surgeon regularly to monitor the health of the implant.
Make an appointment
If you’ve been suffering from hip pain and are curious if hip replacement including minimally invasive anterior hip replacement is right for you, contact us to make an appointment with Dr, James Loging to discuss what options are best for you. 803-321-6254 or 803-941-8095