According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than 320,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed annually in the United States, making it one of the most popular orthopedic procedures for baby boomers. And, around 90 percent of those who undergo hip replacement surgery are able to get back to a vibrant, active lifestyle. Better yet, most of those individuals are able to enjoy doing all the activities they may have been missing out on due to their chronic hip pain.
While surgery should not be your first option, it’s highly possible that it could help improve your lifestyle. It’s important to discuss the impact your hip pain has on your everyday lifestyle with your physician. For instance, if you’re noticing any of the following symptoms, it’s possible you’re a good candidate for hip replacement surgery:
Persistent or chronic hip pain. Chronic hip pain can not only affect your level of physical activity, but it can start to take a toll on your mental health and overall mood. If you’re noticing that you’re feeling nonstop hip pain, even when you’re at rest, it might be time to consider hip replacement surgery.
Trouble completing daily activities. Perhaps vacuuming your home, climbing stairs or getting in and out of a car is becoming increasingly difficult, which indicates your hip pain is starting to interfere with your daily life.
Ongoing stiffness in your hip. Is putting on your right shoe more difficult than the left? This is a common sign of stiffness in your hip, and when it becomes ongoing, it’s time to talk to your physician about it.
Your arthritis in your hip has become bone-on-bone. Hip arthritis starts to cause the synovial membrane, the tissue that surrounds the hip, to become inflamed. This results in the cartilage in the hip getting worn away, leading to the ends of the bones rubbing together painfully. In advanced cases of hip arthritis, surgery is recommended or even necessary to stop the bones from wearing down.
Hip pain that interferes with sleep. A good night’s sleep is key to keeping you alert and feeing refreshed, and often, hip pain starts to interfere with how well you’re able to sleep. Take note if your sleeping patterns are being affected by chronic pain.
Nothing is helping with the chronic pain. When you’ve simply tried everything, like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds, cortisone shots, physical therapy or utilizing assistive devices and you’re still dealing with daily hip pain, or the pain keeps getting worse, it’s time to consider a total hip replacement.
After you’ve considered all the above factors and have decided hip replacement surgery would improve your quality of life, of course you’ll have some questions for your surgeon. And, the better prepared you are for surgery, the more confident you’ll feel about your recovery. Here are a few things to consider before your surgery date:
Learn about the procedure and potential complications. It’s important to educate yourself about both the procedure and the common complications, even though complications only arise in around one percent of hip replacement surgeries. Find out what measures are taken to prevent such complications from anesthesia, infection, blood clots or blood vessel injury.
Get in shape physically. Building up strength, toning your muscles and losing a few extra pounds if necessary will make it easier to get around using crutches, a cane or a walker post-surgery.
Prepare your home. If you’ll be recovering in your home, make a few changes so you will have an easier time when you return from the hospital or rehab center. For instance, if the bedroom is on the second floor, be prepared to utilize the couch or favorite recliner in the living room as your bed. Also, remove potential tripping hazards like throw rugs, low furniture or cords so you have a clear path.
Take note of your questions. Write down any questions you may have about your surgery, and take them into your pre-op appointment with your doctor. This will ensure that you won’t forget any questions and that you’ll be well-prepared for your appointment.
Make post-surgery care decisions. It’s not uncommon during hip replacement recovery to stay in a rehabilitation center for a short time to ensure you’re getting the right level of post-operative care. Or, if you have friends or family nearby who can stay over, enlist their help for your recovery.
Meet with a physical therapy team. Before surgery, if you take the time to learn some of the hip replacement exercises beforehand from the physical therapists, you will have an easier time completing them post-surgery.
Peabody’s Rehab to Home program offers physical therapy seven days a week to ensure success following your hip replacement surgery. You’ll enjoy state-of-the-art equipment and amenities at our Billie Jane Strauss Wellness Center including private treatment rooms, a Hydroworx® pool for aqua therapy, BiodexmBalance System®, and other strength and endurance equipment. For more information on our services following a hip replacement, please contact us today by calling (260) 982-8616.