Living Your Best Life Today Means Planning for Tomorrow: Al Roker Announces Hip Replacement Surgery

Al Roker at a media interview.
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As you read this right now, you might be sitting, standing or even walking. While your eyes are scanning the screen, your body’s joints are working, too. Your fingers are scrolling; your knees are flexing or extending, and your hips might be as well.

The truth is that your body’s joints are moving every day, even when you aren’t engaged in what you would consider physical activity. And over time, all this hard work can lead to damage that can start to give you those nagging — and even debilitating — aches and pains.

So is the case with Al Roker of “The Today Show.” With a history of knee replacement surgery, it was recently announced that Roker would soon undergo another joint-correcting procedure due to osteoarthritis: hip replacement surgery, or “hip resurfacing.”

Here’s what you need to know about this common and very effective surgery that can help restore your movement throughout the life you love.

Who Needs Hip Replacement Surgery

Those 65 years and older who've exhausted all other forms of treatment, maintained active lifestyles, and have chronic pain even while sitting or asleep are often candidates for hip replacement surgery.

Rest pain, or chronic pain experienced even when the body is in a state of rest is the primary reason for the surgery after all other treatments have not been successful.

Other forms of treatment will generally include some or all of the following:

  • Weight Loss
  • Physical Therapy
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Cortisone Injections
  • Viscosupplementation or Gel Injections

After these conservative treatments have been applied and chronic pain still exists from arthritic hips, it may be time to consider a total hip replacement procedure.

Total hip replacement surgery is not recommended for those who are overweight, tobacco smokers or living with diabetes. This is because these factors can increase the chance for infection and complications after the surgery.

What to Expect Before and After Surgery

Once your medical team recommends surgery as an effective option for treating your chronic hip pain, your primary care provider or orthopedic specialist will work with you to ensure that hip replacement surgery is safe for you.

This might require testing for any allergens that may be contained in the implants and used during the procedure. If you have an allergy to nickel, chrome, cobalt, and other metals, as well as the cement used in the surgery, special consideration is required, as you may not be eligible for the procedure or may require different materials.

If you've received the green light for surgery by your doctor, you’re ready to start on your path to feeling whole again.

Your surgery is generally a two-day inpatient procedure where our multi-disciplinary team takes good care of you with compassion, advanced techniques and personalized care.

One example of this is using modular prosthetics that are aligned surgically to leave you feeling like the hip has always been yours. This can also improve healing and recovery time as well as better long-term comfort.

The surgery typically lasts between one and two hours with an additional two hours for prep and recovery in the operating room.

What Makes Mako Hip Replacements Different?

Mako is a type of robotic-arm assisted surgery that can give you numerous benefits if you're a good candidate.

Among them are:

  • Smaller incisions
  • More accurate placement of implants
  • Preserves your healthy bone in the joint
  • Less blood loss
  • Potential for faster recovery

Expert physicians who are experienced with Mako procedures can help you determine if this type of procedure is right for you.

Physical Therapy After Hip Surgery

Physical therapy after surgery is essential to recovery.

While the surgery used to be an inpatient procedure with a three-week ICU stay, now it's usually only two days, doesn't require the ICU, and you're often quickly recovering at home and ready to start your physical therapy.

In just six to eight weeks with physical therapy, many can be back on their feet with considerably less pain. The normal healing process takes about 16 to 20 weeks, as soft tissue takes longer to heal.

As for scarring, the incision is always only as big as it needs to be. Special care and concern are taken to minimize scaring related to the procedure.

Personalized, Coordinated Care

We know that it can be hard to recognize that you need help, but if hip pain is holding you back from living your best life, our hip replacement surgery experts are here to help you get moving through life comfortably again.

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