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Hip Replacements FAQ


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 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. It is not likely that anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections will give you the same long-term relief that hip replacement will.

Hip replacements are successfully performed with all cemented components as well as with a combination of uncemented and cemented components. Your surgeon will discuss which technique is best for you.

The average hospital stay for a hip replacement patient is around 3-5 days. In some cases, fixing one hip reduces the stress on the other hip, thus giving another two or three years if the arthritis is not too advanced. Each individual case is different.

Recovery varies with each person. You will use a walker for approximately 4 weeks after the operation. You can drive a car in 2-4 weeks. Most people gradually increase their activities and may play golf, doubles tennis, shuffleboard, or bowl in 12 weeks. More active sports, such as singles tennis and jogging are not recommended. 
After discharge, there is usually no need for a nursing home. Some patients who live alone may require a short stay at a rehab center for a few days after they leave the hospital. This will depend on how you progress in the hospital, and keep in mind that healing and recovery times vary with each person.

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. Some patients may want to donate their own blood prior to surgery for use after surgery. Your surgeon will be happy to discuss these issues with you.

Hip replacement surgery is recognized as a miracle of modern surgery. Most orthopedic experts consider hip replacement to be the best method of handling arthritis in the hip. Hip replacements have literally put hundreds of thousands of people back on their feet and allowed them to enjoy their golden years.

As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications after hip replacement surgery. However, they are quite rare. To reduce the risk of infection, we take special precautionary measures in the operating room, and use powerful antibiotics. Our personnel are limited to fully-trained and experienced nurses and technicians.

Thanks to advances in medication technology, we are able to keep you very comfortable after surgery. After surgery, any temporary discomfort does not compare to the pain of arthritis endured by most people in months and years before surgery. 
And because hip replacement patients are not "sick," you will not be treated as such. You will wear casual clothing after surgery, not hospital gowns. You'll also join other joint replacement patients for buffet lunches, television, cards and games.

The longevity of a prosthetic hip (how long it will last) varies from patient to patient. It depends on many factors, such as a patient's physical condition and activity level, body weight and the surgical technique. A prosthetic joint is not as strong or durable as a natural, healthy joint, and there is no guarantee that a prosthetic joint will last the rest of a patient's life. All prosthetic hips may need to be revised (replaced) at some point.

Authored By: Dr. S. V. Santpure

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