Question:I have pretty bad hip arthritis. The doctor is going to do a hip replacement on the worst side first. The other side isn't really too good. How will I manage with one bum hip and the other one just operated on?
You may want to ask your doctor about having both hips done at the same time. If you are in good health and qualify, this may be the best option for you. Without the stiffness and pain on the nonoperative side after a single replacement, you can move along faster in rehab, too!
There's also a cost savings. Even though you'll be in the hospital longer than if only one hip was done at a time, the overall number of days is less when both hips are done together.
You can have bilateral hip replacements in one of three ways. First, they can both be done in the same surgery. Second, you could do one and finish rehab before having the second one done. There's usually at least six to eight weeks between operations. Some people wait longer. Third, you could have one hip done and wait five to seven days. If your health is stable and you're up for it then have the second one done. With this third method, you don't leave the hospital between operations.
If you still opt for one hip replacement at a time, then a physical therapist will help you. Your home may need to be adapted to make toileting, bathing, sleeping, and household chores easier. You will likely need a family member or live-in assistant for a few days to weeks, depending on the speed of your recovery.Brian A. Jewett, MD, and Dennis K. Collis, MD. Sequential Bilateral Total Hip Replacement During the Same Hospitalization. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. December 2005. No. 441. Pp. 256-261.
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