Fremont Orthopedic Surgeon Shares Insights on Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery
In the event that hip replacement surgery is the right decision for you, it is usually a good idea to schedule an appointment with your Fremont area primary care physician so that a thorough physical examination may be conducted prior to your procedure. This medical evaluation is required in order to assess your overall health and identify any conditions that could interfere with your joint replacement surgery or your recovery process.
It may be necessary to have several tests to assist in the planning of your surgery. These tests may include urine and blood samples. Chest x-rays, also known as radiographs, and a cardiogram may be advised.
It is important that no infections or irritations be present on your skin prior to your hip replacement surgery. In the case that either condition is present, you should let your orthopedic surgeon know ahead of time. He or she may then prescribe a program for you that will improve your skin before your surgery takes place.
If you are taking any medications, let your orthopedic surgeon know well in advance. He or she, in conjunction with your primary care physician, will give you guidance as to which medications you can continue taking prior to surgery and those which you cannot.
If your weight is above normal, it is to your benefit to lose a few pounds prior to your hip replacement surgery. This will reduce stress on your new hip joint and could also help to minimize other surgical risks.
Even though infections following hip replacement surgery are uncommon, one could occur in the event any bacteria get introduced into your bloodstream. Due to the fact that bacteria can also gain entrance into the bloodstream via dental procedures, it is advisable to consider receiving treatment for major dental issues prior to your hip replacement surgery. This could include extractions of teeth and periodontal procedures. You may have to reschedule your appointment for an upcoming dentist visit, even routine cleaning, until several weeks after the surgery is over.
If you have a recent or frequent history of urinary tract infections, you should also consider an exam by your urologist prior to surgery. This may be advised for older men with prostate issues, too.
Odds are good that you’ll be able to get around soon after your hip replacement surgery with the aid of crutches or a walker. Even so, you will probably require some assistance with common household tasks like cooking, shopping, bathing, and laundry for several weeks. If you do not live with anyone else, the office staff of your orthopedic surgeon (or a social worker or a discharge planner from the hospital) should be able to assist you in making advance arrangements to have someone give you a hand around the house. It is also possible to schedule a brief stay at an extended-care facility as you recover from your hip replacement surgery.
You may find the following list of home improvements helpful in making your arrival back safe and easy as you recover:
- Fasten safety bars or handrails securely in your shower or bath areas.
- Secure the handrails along all of your stairways.
- Find a stable chair with a firm cushion, a firm back, and two arms that allows your knees to remain below your hips.
- Install a raised toilet seat.
- Install a stable bench or chair for bathing in the shower.
- Use a long-handled sponge and a shower hose to aid in bathing.
- Use a stick for dressing, an aid for putting on your socks, and a shoe horn with a long handle to avoid excessive bending of your new hip.
- Use a reacher that will permit you to grasp items without bending over too much.
- Place firm pillows in your chairs, couches, and vehicles to enable sitting with your knees below your hips.
- Store away all of your area rugs and extension cords from the places you walk.
Within a few weeks of your joint replacement, you should be free of most if not all ambulatory aids and independent around your house. Then you can start participating in out-patient Physical Therapy. Before you know it, you’ll be back in the game, doing the things you love! Be sure to contact my office for more specific information regarding the limitations of physical activity after recovering fully from hip replacement surgery.
Committed to getting you back in the game,