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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. To learn more, we talked with board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Mark L. Mudano, MD.
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, explains Dr. Mudano. 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, says Dr. Mudano.
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, your general practitioner will need to clear you for surgery, explains Dr. Mudano. 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, explained Dr. Mudano.
The surgery used to be an inpatient procedure that would require you to be in the ICU for three weeks, he explained. Now its 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, Dr. Mudano says that 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 like Florida Hospital Physician Group, Florida Medical Clinic, and Florida Orthopedic Institute 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 or call 855-303-DOCS.