Total Hip Replacement

What kind of hip implant is best?

There are many kinds and designs of hip implants available today, and no one design or type is best for every patient. Our surgeons select the implant they believe is best for your needs based on a number of factors including age, activity level, the implant’s track record, and comfort with the instruments associated with the particular implant. If you have specific questions regarding implants, your surgeon will be happy to answer them.

How long will I be in the hospital?

With improvements in surgical techniques and post-op care, it is now common for many patients to go home from the hospital after two or three days. Each patient is different but our goal is for you to recover in the comfort and privacy of your own home as soon as possible.

How long is the recovery period?

Recovery times vary from person to person. Your surgeon will clarify when activities can be resumed. Most people will need to use aid such as a walker or cane for 4 weeks or so. Driving may be possible in 2 to 3 weeks, and activities such as golf and bowling can be resumed in as few as 10 to 12 weeks. Some activities such as singles tennis and skiing are not recommended after hip replacement. After being discharged from the hospital, you will continue physical therapy in an outpatient physical therapy clinic. Some patients, particularly if you live alone, may need to spend a short period in an inpatient rehabilitation setting or skilled nursing facility.

How successful is a hip replacement?

Total hip replacement is recognized as one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. In the United States, over 285,000 people have their hips replaced each year.1

What are the risks?

Even though hip replacement surgery is considered a successful procedure, it is major surgery, and as with any surgery, there are risks. Possible complications include:

  • Blood clots in your leg veins
  • Infection
  • Implant loosening
  • Fractures
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage
  • Hip stiffness

Your surgeon and health care team will take great care to minimize the risk of these and other complications. Keep in mind that complications are relatively rare, but they need to be understood by you and your family. Your surgeon will be happy to answer any questions.

How much does total hip replacement hurt?

You will experience some discomfort after surgery, but we will do everything we can to keep you as comfortable as possible. Pain after surgery varies from person to person, and is not entirely predictable, but modern medications and improved anesthetic techniques greatly enhance our ability to control your pain and discomfort after surgery.

Will I need a blood transfusion?

Your surgical team will do everything possible to minimize bleeding, but some blood loss after joint replacement is unavoidable. Whether or not a blood transfusion is required will depend greatly on highly individualized factors, including your condition prior to surgery, cardiac history, age, etc. Be sure to discuss these issues with your surgeon.

Will my insurance cover the procedure?

Your providers will work with you to will ensure that your procedure is covered before services are rendered. We do recommend that you call your insurance company to understand what that post op treatments such as outpatient rehabilitation are in your network so you don't incur any additional expenses.

What if I have other questions?

Just give us a call. We are happy to answer any questions you have. And be sure to ask us about our upcoming seminars on knee and hip pain – we’d love to see you!

Total Hip Replacement, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website.Retrieved on June 8, 2013, from topic=A00377.