Whether you’re on the fence about undergoing a hip replacement, or you’re nervous about your upcoming surgery, it always pays to be well-prepared and in the know. Hip replacement surgery in Singapore is a highly safe and effective procedure, but it is perfectly normal to still have doubts and concerns. Here are six questions you should ask your orthopaedic surgeon before getting hip replacement surgery.
1. Is hip replacement surgery the best treatment option for me?
The main goal of hip replacement surgery is to reduce pain and improve your quality of life. It is performed to treat hip pain and conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, there are other non-surgical treatment options that you may want to consider due to their less intensive nature and lower costs. These include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and injections. But if your pain persists and significantly affects your daily life, your orthopaedic doctor may recommend partial or total hip replacement surgery as your best course of action.
2. How can I prepare for my surgery?
In the weeks leading up to your surgery, try eating a healthy, balanced diet to boost your immune system. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to improve your muscle strength.
You might also want to think about preparing your home for your return after surgery — considering how it will be more difficult for you to move around. Adjust your furniture for ease of mobility and remove rugs or floor towels that could cause you to slip and fall.
3. What are the possible complications or risks?
Hip replacement is a safe surgery that has been performed and continuously improved on for decades. But, as it is still a major surgical procedure, it still comes with its fair share of risks such as infection, change in leg length, dislocation or fractures. Ensure you fully understand your risks and talk to your doctor if you are concerned about the potential impact of any pre-existing conditions.
4. What is the expected recovery time?
Recovery time varies from patient to patient. In general, patients should be able to walk within the same or next day of surgery, and short-term recovery takes about 4-6 weeks. After which, you’ll be able to resume your normal activities and move around pain-free without the help of walkers or crutches.
On the other hand, long-term recovery may take up to six months, as your surgical wounds and soft tissue take time to fully heal.
5. What should I avoid doing after surgery?
Try to avoid bending your hips too far or lifting your knees too high as it can lead to dislocation. A few other things you should avoid doing are crossing your legs, leaning forward while sitting down, bending at the waist beyond 90 degrees and driving. You should be able to resume driving about 3-6 weeks after surgery, but do check with your doctor on when that is safe for you.
6. How long do hip replacements last?
Most hip prostheses last about 20 years or more. They may get gradually worn down, loosen over time or damaged by injury or dislocation. To extend the life of your hip prosthesis, we recommend steering clear of high-impact exercises and taking the necessary precautions to avoid falls and injuries.
Hip replacement surgery may seem daunting, but they are a low-risk procedure that can help you lead a pain-free life. If you are unsure if hip replacement is suitable for you or have any questions about the process or costs, feel free to reach out to OrthofootMD.