Sometimes the pain is worst while lying down. Sometimes it causes walking to become an excruciating effort. And sometimes the ache remains even while sitting in a normally comfortable position, striking anywhere from the groin area down the leg into the knee. Hip pain and subsequent hip replacement surgery impact over 30,000 Americans every year, but there’s good news too! Hip replacement surgeries are rated among the most successful operations overall.
As with any medical condition, knowledge and planning are key to empowering patients and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. If your senior loved one is facing an upcoming hip replacement procedure, Nightingale Homecare of Phoenix is here with helpful information to make the process as smooth as possible.
Possible Surgical Candidates
There are many conditions that may lead to a hip joint replacement, including hip fractures. The more common causes of hip degeneration that may lead to a total hip replacement or hip arthroplasty surgery include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Traumatic arthritis
- Bone tumors
- Childhood hip disease
- Osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis
The Expected Outcomes of Total Hip Replacement
Following surgery, most people experience a dramatic improvement in their ability to perform their daily activities. There is also a significant decrease in pain. These improvements lead to a dramatic increase in the quality of life in the individual.
The hip replacement prosthetics will last for many years, although like any other artificial part, the parts of the hip implant will begin to wear over time. The amount of wear will depend upon the material the hip prosthesis is made of, the patient’s weight, and the amount of activity.
The Hip Replacement Surgery
The actual procedure will take a few hours to complete. In total hip arthroplasty, the damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with metal, polyethylene, ceramic, or a combination of those materials.
The Hospital Stay
Most hospital stays last between 3 and 5 days following the surgery. While in bed and resting, the senior should expect to keep a positioning splint between his or her legs to prevent the hip from going out of alignment. The patient will also be given pain medications to control post-surgical pain, medication to prevent blood clots, and tight compression stockings to help blood to circulate and prevent clotting. He or she may also be instructed to:
- Take deep breaths and cough frequently while in bed if a catheter is in place, to prevent congestion in the lungs while activity level is low
- Move feet up and down and flex muscles to keep blood circulating
- Perform exercises as directed by the physician to improve movement and increase strength, including physical therapy work such as getting in and out of bed and chairs, walking, and getting to and from the bathroom
Many patients are discharged to an extended care facility for rehabilitation for a period of time, to practice more moving and activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, and dressing, etc.) prior to being discharged to home. This is a great time to make arrangements for in-home care assistance, allowing for a smooth transition from rehab to home. Contact Nightingale Homecare at 602-504-1555 to continue the recovery process with our friendly, encouraging senior home care experts, and help your senior loved one get back to living life to the fullest!