We are trying to help Mother make up her mind about having a hip replacement. Dad had it done a year ago and everything went quite well. We can't figure out her hesitation. What do you suggest?
It's not uncommon for women to lag behind men when it comes to having elective surgery such as a total hip or total knee replacement. Women tend to worry more about taking care of their families after surgery. The unknown factors of how long it will take to get back up on their feet and independent can hold them back.
In many cultures, men are more used to being taken care of and provided for in the home. Becoming more dependent in these areas after surgery is not such a stumbling block for them. Women may have a more difficult time asking for and accepting help from others.
The first step may be just to have her evaluated by your surgeon of choice. He or she may be able to answer any questions you or your mother may have. Asking questions about healing time, length of hospitalization, expected time for recovery may help your mother decide what's best for her.
Most patients are seen right away in the hospital by a physical therapist. The therapist helps them get up and get moving again. Joint motion and muscle strengthening are part of the rehab program. The therapist will advise patients about what's needed at home. If your father had this surgery a year ago, it's likely they already have everything they need (e.g., raised toilet seat, walker or cane, grab bars in the bathroom).
These are just a few suggestions for getting to the bottom of your mother's hesitation. If you think she could (and would) tell you, perhaps asking her straight out might help solve the issue. It is a big step for many people but most patients agree that the benefits are well worth the effort.
Yvonne C. Lee, MD, and Jeffrey N. Katz, MD. Shared Decision Making for Total Joint Replacement: The Physician's Role. In The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. November 2008. Vol. 25. No. 11. Pp. 513-520.
*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.