Hip Replacement Surgery Questions

Do I have to have a hip replacement? What are the alternatives to surgery?

The only person to decide whether to have surgery or not is the patient. This is because for the main part surgery is carried out to relieve pain and it is only the patient who can truly estimate how much pain and discomfort their joint is causing them. Of course an orthopaedic surgeon can guide you through the benefits and risks to the procedure together with the usual recovery phase. Alternatives to surgery include medication, weight loss and modification to lifestyle. Non-operative techniques to the hip include hip injections and hip arthroscopy.

How long do hip replacements last?

In general hip replacements don’t have a “shelf life” but fail gradually from the time of implantation. Less than 5% of patients who have had hip replacements require revision surgery within ten years of having their original operation. After this time there is a gradual failure of hip replacements although 80% of hip replacements should last for at least 20 years.

What are the precautions I need to take after my hip replacement?

Hip replacement surgery can be complicated by dislocations and sensible precautions should be observed. These will be discussed by your surgeon and your attending physiotherapist. Mr White currently is of the opinion that many of the restrictions are not necessary or beneficial to his patients and, for example, in the early post-operative phase is happy for his patients to lie on their side for sleeping and participating in gentle exercise programmes.