Question:I'm a self-insured, self-employed plumber. I desperately need a hip replacement to keep doing my job. I just can't get in and out of tight spots anymore. What's the fastest, least expensive way to get this done?
If you're a good candidate, your doctor may consider you for the minimally invasive operation (MIO). Only a small incision is made. If you do well, you can be discharged and go home the same day.
A recent study comparing inpatient versus outpatient total hip replacements showed the outpatient method saved up to $4,000 per patient. That's a big chunk of change if you're paying out of pocket. Not all surgeons are set up to replace joints using the MIO method.
Once you find one who is then ask about the kinds of patients who are allowed to have this surgery. Usually you have to be in stable health without heart, lung, or other major problems. If you have diabetes, a heart condition, or seizures, you may have to be in the hospital.
Follow all of the instructions the nurses and therapists give you both before and after the operation. This will help ensure a better result with fewer problems.Kim C. Bertin, MD. Minimally Invasive Outpatient Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Financial Analysis. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. June 2005. Vol. 435. Pp. 154-163.
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