There’s one constant faced by everyone, and that is we all get older. And joint pain and the possibility of joint replacement surgery is often a part of the aging process. According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, the most frequent replacement surgeries performed – either partial or total – are on the knee and hip joints.
Hip replacements have only been around since 1960, but it is one of the most successful surgeries in the U.S. where statistics show that an average of 285,000 such surgeries are performed each year. Most of these surgeries are performed on people over the age of 60, but injury and illness can require replacement at virtually any age.
So what are the reasons for surgery?
There are several reasons for hip replacement, including severe arthritis, fracture or tumor of the hip joint, or a condition known as femoral artery stenosis (FAS). In the latter, the artery that supplies blood to the head of the thighbone connected to the ball and socket hip joint begins to close up, causing the femur to begin expiring.
New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer urges anyone suffering hip pain and difficulty walking to seek medical advice, as any of the causes could become completely debilitating.
What is the Procedure?
The procedure normally takes from 1 to 3 hours, and while it usually requires only a few days in the hospital, lengthy physical therapy is typically prescribed following the surgery. The therapy is a necessary part of the recovery process and somewhat uncomfortable, but it gets easier with time. After the pain subsides and you can walk again, you’ll spend some time with a walker and then possibly a cane.
Any Precautions that need to be taken?
There are precautions you must take to avoid dislocating your replacement hip during the first couple weeks of recovery, but they’re easy to adhere to and the danger will decrease with time. But don’t hesitate to ask your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon if you can take pain medication when your discomfort gets to 5 or above on a pain scale of 1-to-10. You won’t heal any faster if you are in pain, and the need for pain medication will decrease each day.
The most important aspect of your recovery will be your attitude. Remain optimistic, take it one day at a time, and above all − follow the instructions of your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon and therapists, and you’ll be a success story.