Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

My father complains about hip pain all the time but refuses to have a hip replacement. His wife (my stepmother) keeps pushing him to get it done. Is that such a good idea? If he doesn't want it, he probably won't be a very cooperative patient either.

Answer:

Patient compliance is an important factor in the success of hip joint replacement. There is a certain amount of post-operative pain to deal with. An aggressive rehab program is needed for a successful outcome.

But many patients find that the post-op pain is different and even easier to deal with than the pain they experienced before surgery. They feel better and are more willing to move. As a result, they automatically become more compliant and cooperative.

The newer surgical techniques for hip replacement also help speed up recovery. Smaller incisions, less damage to the soft tissues, and less time to complete the surgery are all possible now.

And patients aren't held back from what they want to do. They are told not to treat the hip as if it might break. They are free to put weight on that leg. They can get rid of any walking aids (canes, crutches, walker) whenever they feel ready to do so.

Each patient must make his or her own decision about the timing of joint replacement surgery. Educating patients about what to expect can help overcome fear-based hurdles. Success rates are high and complications low with experienced surgeons. Mark W. Pagnano, MD, et al. Slower Recovery After Two-Incision Than Mini-Posterior-Incision Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. May 2008. Vol. 90-A. No. 5. Pp. 1000-1006.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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