What are some indicators that hip replacement is needed?
The major indication for having a Total Hip Replacement (THR) is pain. In contrast to back pain or sciatica that runs down the back side of the leg, hip pain is usually located in the groin or lateral aspect of the thigh. This pain is usually the result of arthritis that has gradually worsened over years.
What is the typical age of a patient who needs a hip replacement?
The typical age for hip replacement is over 65, but age should not be a determining factor when deciding whether a THR is indicated. With the use of modern implants made of metals allowing bony ingrowth, durable polyethylene, and wear-resistant ceramics, a typical hip replacement can last 20 years before needing to be revised with fresh parts.
Are there any risks with the procedure?
The major risks of hip replacement surgery are infection and DVT (deep venous thrombosis). Antibiotics are given perioperatively, but the risk of infection, although very low, is present throughout the lifespan of the replacement. Anticoagulants are given perioperatively as well, but usually continue for only one month, although all risk factors must be evaluated when determining the duration of anticoagulant treatment.
How long is the recovery time?
Recovery time is usually three months. The patient is walking without crutches or a walker by six weeks, and taking part in most activities by eight weeks. Younger patients and those that do not have a lot of stairs in their home are usually discharged from the hospital within three days of the surgery. Less active patients and those with many stairs in their home are frequently transferred to a rehabilitative center or nursing facility until they are deemed safe to return home.
What should a patient look for in a doctor who performs this surgery?
Look for someone who has vast experience and does not seem to be selling you on the surgery. THR surgery is an elective procedure, so there should be no persuasion or cajoling necessary. This almost always leads to a satisfying outcome for the patient.
Dr. Eric Furie is an orthopaedic surgeon at Midtown Sports Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ABOS) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). He has served as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Atlanta Medical Center where he is currently teaching orthopaedic residents.
Midtown Sports Medicine
285 Boulevard NE, Suite 310
Atlanta, Ga 30312