What Happens During My Appointment?
Once you are in the examination room, the orthopaedic surgeon will perform an evaluation. The evaluation may include:
- A complete medical history asking about your general health and extent of your joint pain
- A physical examination will then be given to assess mobility, strength and alignment.
- X-rays will be taken to determine the extent of damage or deformity in the joint
- Occasionally, blood tests or other tests, such as MRI or bone scanning, may be required to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues
Following this, the surgeon will discuss your possible treatment options and their potential risks, benefits and complications.
Hip replacement should be a group decision
Hip replacement is a big deal and should be a group decision based on input from your family, primary care doctor, and orthopedic surgeon.
Is Knee Replacement Right for Me?
Today, more than half a million knee replacement procedures are performed each year in the U.S.1 While this is a very common surgery, only the expertise from an orthopaedic surgeon can determine if you’re an ideal candidate. Gel and steroid injections and other nonoperative treatment options can also be discussed during your consultation.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
After surgery you will receive pain medication and begin physical therapy. You may be out of bed and walking on crutches or a walker within 24 hours of your surgery. You will be shown how to perform activities of daily living such as how to safely climb and descend stairs and how to care for your joint once you return home. It is a good idea to enlist the support of family or friends to help you once you return home. Exercise will be a necessary part of proper healing. Therapy will begin in the hospital and continue after discharge on your own or with a therapist. Therapy, a healthy diet and willingness to follow all of your surgeon’s recommendations will contribute to a more successful recovery.
When Can I Return to My Regular Activities?
After a successful surgery, you will be eager to return to many of the activities you enjoy. Your recovery is partially based upon your condition prior to your surgery. Going for walks, golfing, boating, biking and playing with children or grandchildren are usually realistic expectations. Typically, patients are able to return to normal activities in a few months, however patients with a hip replaced through the Direct Anterior Approach are able to return to normal activities more quickly (within a few weeks rather than a few months). Many patients report little or no pain in a month or two after surgery, but the decision about activity level is ultimately based on the suggestions and guidelines of your orthopaedic surgeon as well as your compliance with your surgeon’s recommended postoperative therapy.