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Hip replacement surgery: Preparing for it

Hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a procedure that will help you get your mobility and comfort back. In this, the damaged part of your hip is removed and replaced with a prosthetic component. 

During the procedure, the damaged femoral head is substituted with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or ‘press fit’ into the bone.

 A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem; this replaces the damaged femoral head. The damaged cartilage surface of the socket is removed and replaced with a metal socket. A used metal spacer, ceramic, or plastic is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.

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An important factor in deciding whether to have hip replacement surgery is keeping in mind what the procedure can and cannot do. So, before going for surgery, you must have realistic expectations. With normal use and activity, the material of the implant begins to wear. Therefore, most surgeons advise limiting high-impact activities. Activities that you can do include dancing, biking, hiking, driving, walking, swimming, golf, and other low-impact sports. Know more about hip replacement surgery below. 

Preparing for the Hip replacement surgery

hip replacement graphic
Hip replacement surgery graphic | Image from Google

If you decide to go through with the surgery, you may be asked to have a complete physical examination by your primary care doctor before your surgical procedure. This is needed to ensure that you are healthy enough for the procedure.

Then you will have to get a couple of tests done, like blood and urine samples, an EKG, and chest x-rays. You should also make sure that the skin doesn’t have any infections or irritations before surgery. If either is present, contact your surgeon. 

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Tell your orthopedic about the medications you are taking, if taking any, and ask which medications you need to stop taking. If you’re overweight, your doctor may ask you to lose some weight. This will minimize the stress on your new hip and also decrease the risks of surgery.

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Major dental procedures should be completed before your hip replacement surgery. Routine cleaning of your teeth should be delayed for several weeks after surgery. 

You can also know more about hip replacement surgery by asking someone who has had it before, and maybe they can also aid you in recovery.

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After the surgery, your home will need several modifications to make it easier to navigate since you will have limited mobility for a few weeks before you fully recover. 

Although you will be able to walk with a cane, crutches, or a walker after surgery, chances are you might need someone to help you for several weeks with tasks like cooking, shopping, bathing, and laundry.

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If you live alone, you can ask a social worker or a discharge planner at the hospital can make arrangements to have someone help you at your home. A short stay can also be arranged in an extended care facility.

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Written by Parasteh

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