Education: Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement has become among the most successful orthopaedic
procedures. People with hip arthritis often wonder: when the right
time is to have replacement surgery, what life will be like after
surgery, and what new techniques or technologies may be available.
When to have surgery:
In the past, patients were advised to wait as long as they could,
and only have surgery when they could no longer stand the pain.
Recent studies have found that this may not be the best advice.
The better a person's medical and physical condition, at the time
of surgery, the less difficulty they may have in attaining normal
gait and function. Surgery may be considered when medications and
therapy have failed and pain or stiffness interfere with regular
activities of daily living or walking such that patients must compromise
their life styles.
What will life be like after surgery:
Total hip replacement can eliminate hip pain. If this is the only
problem, after surgery patients can walk, dance, swim, ride a bicycle,
ski and pursue a variety of activities. The durability of these
replacements has always been difficult to answer. The newer ceramic
and metal technologies may offer increased longevity for the
replacement. Heavy repetitive stress activities such as jogging
and weight lifting are not advised.
What new techniques and technologies
may be available:
Medicine and surgery are constantly changing. The news and television
regularly report advances and new procedures. For the person considering
surgery it can become quite confusing and difficult to appreciate
the difference between an experimental, or investigative procedure
and something that may be new but not considered to have any additional
risks. The best advice may be to choose
a surgeon knowledgeable in new techniques and comfortable discussing
all aspects of surgery with you. The current state of the art surgical
technique is Minimally Invasive