Health Care

What You Need to Know About 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 you find that over time your hips have become arthritic and painful, hip replacement might be for you. Hips and several other joints are now replaceable through advanced technology and cutting-edge surgical techniques.

Who Needs Hip Replacement Surgery

Patients who've exhausted all other forms of treatment, maintained active lifestyles, and have chronic pain which affects the patient’s quality of life are candidates for hip replacement surgery.

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

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

After these conservative treatments have been tried 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 severely overweight, tobacco smokers, or uncontrolled diabetics. The chance for infection or other complications 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. 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 general practitioner, the next step is to have the surgery which, depending on your surgeon, may require general anesthesia. 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.

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

Count on our team of orthopedic specialists at AdventHealth North Pinellas to help relieve your pain. With nationally recognized, board-certified experts and the latest minimally invasive orthopedic treatments, we have the tools and the expertise to find long-term solutions for you. To learn more about what surgical options are available to you, please visit our website.

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