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Article Type: Blog

What You Need to Know About Nick Saban's Hip Replacement

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We hope you're able to walk, run and dance through your entire life with your healthy natural joints.

But if like Nick Saban, iconic collegiate coach for Alabama football, you've been struggling with an arthritic or painful hip, then hip replacement might be for you.

Hips and several other joints are now replaceable through advanced technology and leading-edge surgical techniques that include robotics-assisted procedures like the Mako hip replacement that Saban had earlier this year.

Who Needs Hip Replacement Surgery

Patients over 65 years old who've exhausted all other forms of treatment, maintained active lifestyles, and have chronic pain even while sitting or asleep are the prime 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 been exhausted.

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 diabetics. The chance for infection is just too great with these patients and it risks complications after the surgery.

What to Expect Before and After Surgery

Once all other forms of treatment have been ruled out and surgery is the last option for dealing with your chronic pain, you'll need to get clearance from your primary care provider or orthopedic specialist. The process for clearing you for surgery will require testing for any allergens that may be contained in the implants and used during the procedure.

People allergic to nickel, chrome, cobalt, and other metals, as well as the cement used in the surgery, may not be eligible for the procedure or may require different materials.

Once you've been cleared by your doctor, the next step is to have the surgery.

Depending on your surgeon, you might need general anesthesia for the procedure.

Your surgery is generally a two-day inpatient procedure where our multi-disciplinary team uses advanced techniques to provide coordinated care. The best example of this is the use of modular prosthetics fit to your body and aligned surgically to leave you feeling like the hip has always been yours.

These important steps of the replacement process not only leave you with a familiar joint but also have been shown to 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 Different?

Mako is a type of robotic-arm assisted surgery that gives 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, like those at AdventHealth, who are experienced with Mako procedures can help you determine if this type of procedure is right for you.

Expect to do 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 only two days, doesn't require the ICU, and you're back home and ready to start your physical therapy. In just six to eight weeks with physical therapy, you should be back on your feet with considerably less pain. Your healing process normally takes 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 and with the attention of our award-winning care specialists any scarring should be minimal.

Personalized, Coordinated Care

We've formed strategic relationships, not only with individual physicians but with other health organizations to deliver the convenient care that you've come to expect from us. To learn more about what surgical options are available to you, please visit our website.

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