Who Might Need a Hip Replacement?
For those suffering from osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease in the hip, and who have tried nonsurgical treatments to no avail, a hip replacement could be the answer. During a hip replacement, your doctor will remove the damaged, painful joint and replace it with an artificial joint composed of metal and plastic parts.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Surgery
In the past, all hip replacement surgeries required the patient to remain in the hospital four to six days for recovery. Thanks to advancements in medicine, total hip replacement surgeries can now be performed in an outpatient setting. This allows patients to return home the same day as their surgery.
With the outpatient procedure, patients will visit their doctor one week prior to their surgical date to get their pain medication. This eliminates the need to get a prescription filled following surgery, when they’ll be in pain. On the morning of surgery, patients arrive around 7 a.m. to get prepped, and surgery starts approximately 30 minutes later. Following the procedure, patients remain in the recovery room for about an hour and a half as the anesthesia wears off, and then begin moving around on their own by 10 a.m. They will be released from the hospital before lunch.
Good Candidates for Outpatient Hip Replacement Surgery
Two of the main factors that suggest if a person will or will not be a good candidate for the outpatient procedure relate to fear and function. For patients that express significant anxiety and concern about the procedure, and who know little about what to expect from surgery and recovery, the outpatient procedure might not be the best option. Similarly, some patients will be more adept at managing their recovery independently, while others will require more substantial medical assistance. Your doctor will help you discover which procedure is right for you.
Benefits of Outpatient Surgery
For motivated patients looking to recover as quickly as possible, outpatient surgery is the kickstart they need. It allows them to recover at home, where friends and family can help take care of them, and they’ll likely be empowered to start walking again faster.