How do I know if I need hip replacement surgery?

How do I know if I need hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is a significant operation and it is important to decide when the right time to go through the procedure is. It requires a commitment to rehabilitation, lifestyle changes, and good health.

The surgery is generally considered when other non-surgical options fail to provide relief and the person has advanced joint disease or injury. The ability to bear pain is different in every individual and many times people delay in consulting the doctor for their hip pain and stiffness. But if you are suffering through persistent pain while doing even the everyday tasks, then the hip damage is bad. It can be damaging both physically and mentally. Surgical intervention at the right time can improve the quality of life and enable you to enjoy normal activities like walking, hiking, gardening, etc. which were difficult to perform before the operation.

The indicators mentioned below can help determine if you are ready for the hip replacement surgery yet.

Signs that indicate you may need a hip replacement surgery-

  • ·         A persistent pain that affects daily life and makes it difficult to even walk normal distances, sit or bend over.
  • ·         Range of motion from the hip joint is restricted and you are unable to bend down
  • ·         The pain isn’t letting you sleep or even rest
  • ·         Soreness or swelling on the hip, thigh or even knees
  • ·         Stiffness in the hip from sitting for long hours e.g. in a car seat, etc.
  • ·         Difficulty in getting out of bath-tub and chairs 
  • ·         Difficulty in climbing stairs
  • ·         Medication is unable to relieve pain
  • ·         Using cane or walking appliances is not helping
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There are various diseases and conditions that can cause the above-listed symptoms and may require surgery. The hip replacement surgery may be recommended by the surgeon in case you are suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • ·         Arthritis – Osteoporosis is the most common reason for hip replacement surgery. In cases of severe arthritis, the cartilage that covers the ball-and-socket of the hip joint deteriorates, causing pain and stiffness as the bones of the joint glide over each other. 
  • ·         Hip joint dislocation due to trauma or hip fracture
  • ·         Bone growth related to diseases
  • ·         Avascular necrosis – blood supply to the femoral head is restricted because of an injury to the hip

The surgeon first evaluated the patient through a series of diagnostic tests like MRI, X-ray, etc. to assess the level of damage.

Some of the factors considered by the doctor are the general health of the patient, age, medical history, and patients are evaluated to assess their strength, mobility, and endurance.

If you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery, the surgeon will discuss the complications and risks associated with the surgery with you.

The complications include hip dislocation, allergic reaction to anesthesia, blood loss, blood clot, wound infection, injury to nerves, etc.

But if the condition is severe enough and cannot be managed by other alternatives, surgery should not be delayed. If you wait too long, your muscles might lose the strength and endurance to go through the procedure. Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful joint replacement surgeries and has shown significant improvement with pain and mobility.

What questions should I ask the surgeon prior to hip replacement surgery?

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You might be recommended a hip replacement surgery if you are suffering through severe pain and stiffness in your hip that makes normal everyday tasks difficult to perform. The surgery aims to provide relief from chronic pain and restore the motion of the hip joint.

Hip replacement surgery, though a common and safe procedure, is still a surgery and might scare many. There must be plenty of things that you might want to know about before undergoing a major procedure like joint replacement surgery. Prior to the operation, the surgeon explains the important aspects of the procedure and discusses the possible risks and expected results. The hip replacement surgeons in India are highly skilled and dedicated specialists, and you can ask them all your queries so that you make a fully informed decision.

Following are the important questions that you can ask your orthopedic surgeon:

You can ask the following question to your orthopedic surgeon:

About the procedure and asking if you are the right candidate-

  • ·         What kind of surgery do you recommend for my condition?
  • ·         Which is the best technique for hip replacement surgery? Am I suitable for it?
  • ·         What are the risks and benefits of minimally invasive surgery in my case?
  • ·         Will the surgery work well at my age?
  • ·         Can any of the medical problems that I already have affect the outcomes of the surgery?
  • ·         What might happen if I don’t have surgery?
  • ·         What are my options for the type of artificial prosthetic implant?

Risks and complications related –

·         Are there any specific complications that may arise in my case?

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·         How can I decrease my risk of complications?

Prior to the surgery:

·         What can I do to prepare before the surgery? Are there any exercise which will help increase strength and endurance?

·         What changes can I make at home before I go to the hospital?

·         Should I work on losing weight prior to the surgery?

·         Is there anything that I can do before the surgery so it will be more successful for me?

Success of the surgery:

·         What results can I expect after the procedure?

·         Are there any health or age-related concerns that can affect the success of my surgery?

·         What are the chances of failure or no improvement after the surgery?

·         How long will the prosthetic implant last? What can I do to make it last as long as possible?

Recovery-related questions:

·         How long will I have to stay in the hospital after the procedure?

·         What comprise of the rehabilitation program?

·         When can I start walking after the surgery? Will it be painful?

·         How painful will the recovery be? How will it be managed after I go home?

·         Will I need to take any medication after going home?

·         When will I be able to go back to work?

·         When will I be able to drive, climb after the surgery, and resume normal activities?

·         When will I be able to resume normal activities?

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