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Frequently Asked Questions about Hip Replacement

What is hip replacement?
Who should have a hip replacement?
Is there an alternative to hip replacement?
How long is the hospital stay?
Will I go home after surgery?
How long is recuperation?
When can I drive?
Will I need a blood transfusion?
What is the success rate?
Are there complications?
Will I have pain?
Can I talk to someone who has had a hip replacement?

What is a hip replacement?

A hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts. The goal of hip replacement is to allow you to move easily with less discomfort.

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Who should have a hip replacement?

When hip pain severely limits your ability to walk, or perform even simple activities, hip replacement should be considered.

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Is there an alternative to hip replacement?

There are a number of conservative measures your physician may suggest before you consider hip replacement. This includes anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections and physical therapy. Hip replacement is only recommended after all other treatment methods have failed to adequately relieve your symptoms.

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How long is the hospital stay?

The average hospital stay for a hip replacement patient is around 3-4 days. Patients having surgery on Monday typically go home on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.

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Will I go home after surgery?

We strongly encourage patients to go home after discharge; there is usually no need for a nursing home. Keep in mind that healing and recovery times vary with each person. Some older patients who live alone may require a short stay at a Skilled Nursing Facility for a few days to a few weeks after they leave the hospital. Our case managers will assist you with placement prior to discharge.

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How long is recuperation?

Recovery varies with each individual. You will use a walker for approximately 2-4 weeks after the operation. You will quickly progress to a cane. Most people gradually increase their activities and play golf, doubles tennis, go bike riding, hiking, swimming and dancing, within 12 weeks after surgery.

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When can I drive?

Based on your progress, you may be able to drive a car in 4-6 weeks. You should check with your surgeon before driving. Please remember that as long as you are taking narcotic pain medications you should not drive.

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Will I need a blood transfusion?

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.

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What is the success rate?

The success rate, elimination of pain and return to function, is very high for total hip replacement-98 to 99%.

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Are there complications?

As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications after hip replacement surgery. However, they are quite rare. We take measures to prevent complications such as blood clots and surgical site infections.

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Will I have pain?

Yes, you will have some pain or discomfort at the surgical site. During your stay we will do everything we can to make you comfortable. There are several medications we can use to reduce your discomfort. The most important thing to remember is, unlike the pain you had prior to surgery, the pain you experience after joint replacement will get better.

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Can I talk to someone who has had a hip replacement?

Yes! We have volunteers that have had one or more hip replacements and would be happy to talk to you. E-mail our office and we will be pleased to put you in touch with other people who have gone through the program.

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Links to Services

FAQs about Hip Replacement

FAQs about Knee Replacement

Resources

Orthopedic & Spine Services

Lee Memorial Hospital

All-Star Total Joint Home Page

LMHS Home Page

 

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