The leading cause for hip replacements generally is hip arthritis in the United States. This is usually a type of wear and tear type of arthritis. When to decide when you’re ready for a hip replacement really depends on a conversation you have to have with your orthopedic surgeon. Conventional forms of treatment begin with conservative treatments for hip arthritis, it usually begins with basic things like weight loss, hip strengthening and stretching, maintaining your mobility, a combination of certain medications such as anti-inflammatories, sometimes non-narcotic pain medications, and then hip injections. Usually cortisone.
When you feel you’ve exhausted those conservative options for your hip arthritis and you’re looking for an orthopedic surgeon, I find a few things to be very important. Number one having an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip and knee reconstruction I think is paramount. Specifically, this involves usually fellowship training, which is which fellowship training pertains to a, an extra year or other. That surgeon spends simply focusing on hip and knee reconstruction. Additionally, surgeons need to be high volume. When we have surgeons who perform a large number of joint replacements, they can do so with greater efficiency and proficiency, meaning there are less complications. Those patients are going to do better. The surgery itself takes approximately 50 minutes to an hour. You’re in the hospital usually overnight. You’re up usually out of bed walking with a therapist within two to four hours postoperatively.
At Florida Hospital Tampa where I practice the most common approach that I do, and frankly in most primary hip replacements, I perform direct anterior approach. A direct anterior approach has been popularized over the past 10 years or so. And it’s simply an approach where you go through the front of the hip and rather than cutting or dissecting or detaching muscle or bone to expose the hip joint, you’re going through a native and natural muscle window, you’re simply exploiting that window, moving those muscles aside and exposing the hip. What this does is it permits you faster recovery decreases pain postoperatively. And there’s also additional benefit just such as using x-ray or fluoroscopy during the procedure to optimize component position reduce dislocation rates and improve leg length restoration. So there’s certainly a lot of benefits to this approach. And I’m, I’m a big believer in it. Florida Hospital Tampa has an orthopedic nurse navigator to help connect you with the specialist you need. Call (813) 615-7087 or visit FHtampa.org/ortho.