Part of planning a hip replacement involves choosing a surgeon. Your surgeon will determine the location and size of your surgical incision and the type of artificial hip joint to be implanted. Your surgeon may also influence factors that affect your recovery, such as where you go for physiotherapy.
Traditional hip replacement involves a surgical incision at the back of the hip joint, called the posterior approach. Other possible incision sites include the side of the hip (lateral approach) and the hip (anterior approach).
See also anterior hip replacement and posterior hip replacement
Don't be afraid to ask for specific information about your surgeon's experience, including how many times they perform the approach in a year and what their success and complication rates are. Studies1 have shown that surgeons who perform more than 50 hip replacements per year have the lowest complication rates.
Discuss any specific goals and expectations you have with your surgeon.
Expected outcomes may vary from person to person, depending on the anatomy and overall health status. Discussing and understanding individual expectations early on can improve patient satisfaction after surgery.
Ball and socket components for hip replacements can be metal, plastic (polyethylene), ceramic or a combination of these materials. Some components are attached to the bone by a bone cement. Other prostheses, known as "cementless" prostheses, are designed to allow bone tissue to grow into them over time.
Each type of hip joint prosthesis has certain advantages and risks. There is no definitive scientific evidence that some hip prostheses are better for all patients than others. Your surgeon will make a recommendation based on their experience and your unique situation.
Hip replacement is a major operation and, as with any surgical procedure, it carries potential risks such as infection and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Serious complications are uncommon, but can be life-threatening. Know your risks and ask if there are any pre-existing conditions (such as diabetes) that may increase your risk of certain complications.
You want to be able to communicate clearly and honestly with your surgeon.In addition, a good surgical team will provide you with detailed written or online materials
Physiotherapy is an important part of rehabilitation. Stretching and exercise must be done regularly at home throughout the day for a few weeks after surgery.
In addition to physiotherapy at home, you may have one-to-one appointments with a physiotherapist. The number of times you see your physiotherapist each week depends on several factors, including the surgeon's preference, where you live and your insurance coverage. The surgeon may prefer that you work with a specific physiotherapist or leave the choice up to you.
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