Frequently Asked Questions

Hip Surgery FAQ
What is arthritis and why does my hip hurt so badly I can hardly walk?

Your hip joint contains a layer of smooth cartilage on the ball of the upper thigh bone (femur) and another layer of cartilage in the hip socket.  The cartilage acts as a cushion and allows smooth hip motion. 

Arthritis causes a gradual wearing down of this cartilage until there’s none left.  Every time you move, it’s bone rubbing against bone without the pillow of cartilage to ease your movement.

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What is a total hip replacement and why would I need one?

The arthritic ball of your upper thigh bone, as well as the damaged cartilage from your hip socket, is removed.

  • The ball is replaced with a metal ball solidly inserted inside your femur 
  • The socket is replaced with a plastic or metal liner that’s usually fixed inside a metal shell
  • Result: you have a smoothly functioning joint that leaves you pain-free
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What results can I expect from a total hip replacement

Results from a total hip replacement vary depending on:

  • The quality of the surrounding tissue
  • The severity of your arthritis at the time of surgery
  • How well you follow the physician's instructions

If you are considering hip replacement surgery, be sure to speak to your physician about the potential benefits and risks associated with surgery.

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When should I have hip surgery?

That's between you and your surgeon. Your doctor can help you determine whether you're a good candidate for this kind of surgery. Advanced age is not necessarily a concern if you are in reasonably good health and wish to continue living an active life.

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What are the major risks associated with hip replacement?

With hip replacement surgery, complications are infrequent, but a couple can occur occasionally:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots

To avoid infection, use the antiseptic wash that is given to you prior to surgery. Also proper hand washing is essential. Antibiotics are given before and after surgery to reduce the risk of infection. 

Blood thinners will be given to you postoperatively to prevent blood clots. Special compression devices are used in the hospital to reduce the risk of blood clots as well.

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How long will I be hospitalized?

Normally you will be hospitalized for two to three days. After the hospital stay you will need therapy either at home or in an inpatient facility for an additional week or two. Our team will design a rehabilitation plan that is designed to fit your specific needs.

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Will I have any restrictions after surgery?

After hip replacement surgery, you’re advised to avoid high-impact activities, such as:

  • Running
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Down-hill skiing
  • Any injury-prone activities

Other restrictions may include:

  • Crossing your legs
  • Twisting operated legs
  • Twisting side-to-side
  • Bending 90 degrees at the hip
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Will I need physical therapy or an exercise program?

The simple answer is “yes” to both.  The number of physical therapy sessions you’ll need varies for by individual, but exercise must be a lifetime commitment. Your surgeon and physical therapist will design a program to specifically meet your needs.

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Will I need medical or assistive equipment at home?

A walker, cane or crutches may be used for about two to four weeks.  Our qualified staff will take care of any equipment needs you may have prior to discharge from the hospital on an individual basis.

Some other devices you may need:

  • Grab bars in the bathroom
  • A bath seat
  • Help with lower body dressing
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