How does the doctor decide if I need a hip replacement?
In order to be a candidate for a total hip replacement there needs to be evidence of hip arthritis on x-rays, decreased motion of the hip and general limitations in activities of daily living due to the hip condition.
What type of hip replacement is used?
The type of bearing surface that is used depends on multiple factors such as patient age, level of activity, bone structure, allergy profile, etc. In general however the most frequenstly used bearing surface is a ceramic or metal head on a highly crosslinked polyethylene liner. These bearing surfaces are attached to the stem and cup which are inserted into the bone and are titanium based.
When can I drive a car?
This is variable from patient to patient and depends on the type of procedure/approach that was used.
After surgery how long before I can return to work?
A number of factors determine return to work such as the type of procedure performed, the job description (ie manual labor, desk work), the commute etc. In general however, patients who undergo an anterior approach total hip replacement may feel capable of returning to deskwork within 2 weeks of the time of surgery.
How long before I can take a bath or shower or go swimming?
Unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Davidovitch you may shower 2 days after surgery provided the wound is dry. Bathing in a tub or swimming is not recommended for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
How far can I bend forward after the hip is replaced?
If an anterior approach hip replacement is performed, typically there are no restrictions on bending and patients may safely bend forward as much as they tolerate. On rare occasions (<1% of the time) some restrictions may be employed and this is decided at the time of surgery.
When can I resume sexual activities?
Sexual activity can be resumed when tolerated by the patient if an anterior approach was utilized and no hip precautions exist.
Do I need a blood thinner after surgery?
A deep venous thormobosis (aka a blood clot) can be a troublesome complication after a hip replacement especially if the clot travels to the lung. To decrease the risk of such an event patients are typically placed on a 4 week regimen of a self administered blood thinner.
Will I set off the metal detector in the airports?
This depends on the sensitivity setting of the detector. All hip replacement patients receive an implant card stating that they have a prosthesis in place.
When can I resume my sports activities? (i.e.: tennis, aerobics, swimming, golf, etc.)
High impact activities such as tennis or aerobics is restricted for 3 months. Swimming can generally be resumed within the first 2-3 weeks and golf at about 6 weeks.
How long is the incision?
The average length of the incision is between 6-10 centimeters (3-4 inches) and varies based on patient size and weight.