Hip replacement is one of the most successful operations ever devised. It not only relieves pain and restores function; it has also been shown to extend life. Hip replacement started in the 1950’s and has made tremendous advances since that time. I now hardly do anything the same as a learned in my residency at Johns Hopkins over 25 years ago.
Minimally invasive surgery, multimodal pain management, comprehensive blood management, prevention of blood clots, uncemented technology, improved bearing surfaces and hip resurfacing are only a few of the advances that have allowed us to completely change the operation. Instead of a 2-week hospital stay and another 2 weeks in a rehab hospital we are now keeping patients overnight or even performing outpatient surgery.
Blood transfusion and infection and blood clots have an incidence far less than 1%. Dislocations are rare. Full sporting activity is possible. In the 1950s severe arthritis was a life-altering problem. Today patients can return to full normal function. I believe that we are on the threshold of lifetime implants for all patients regardless of age.
The Internet now gives patients access to extensive information, but it is sometimes difficult to know which information is reliable. Surgeons have widely varying skill sets and opinions about what is best. Don’t be satisfied with general statements of opinion. The wise patient reviews data published in writing by the surgeon he is considering. Word of mouth referrals from other patients are also very valuable. Published surgeon data can be readily accessed on the Surface Hippy website, and our own publications can be found under the Patient Education section of this website.
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