According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, more than 330,000 people nationwide have hip replacement surgery each year. But just because a lot of people decide to undergo this procedure, doesn’t mean that it should be handled lightly.
Patients who are considering the procedure need to have an in-depth conversation with their New Orleans orthopedic surgeon about the parts and technique that will be utilized and also with your anesthesiologist about the options available to manage pain and awareness during surgery.
In a mini-anterior surgery, the orthopedic surgeon uses a 4-inch incision to enter from the front (anterior), without cutting through the large muscles located in your hips. This technique shortens the patient’s recovery time, and they’re up and about sooner than if the surgeon enters from the side or back.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon may decide to use a lateral or posterior incision, especially if you’ve had a prior hip replacement, are obese, very muscular or have a wide pelvis.
General anesthesia is typically used during this type of surgical procedure. Although it’s not as risky as it used to be, post-anesthesia cognitive problems remain a concern, especially for the elderly patients.
These days many New Orleans orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists favor regional anesthesia, because there is less blood loss and improved pain control following surgery and any negative results are extremely rare.
Regional or local anesthesia is commonly administered as:
- A spinal block, which is a numbing agent injected into the fluid surrounding your spinal cord;
- An epidural block, which is administered through a catheter inserted into the lower back;
- A peripheral nerve block that affects the major thigh nerves in the leg on which they are going to operate.
You also can opt for a sedative, so you won’t be aware of what’s going on during the procedure. So don’t forget to discuss all these choices with your orthopedic surgeon in the weeks prior to your hip replacement surgery.
If you have questions regarding hip replacement surgery and/or your anesthesia options, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule an appointment.