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Hip replacement: Are you set up for success?

Reviewed 8/11/2021

Hip replacement: Are you set up for success?

Are you thinking about having your hip replaced? If your hip is hurting, a new joint could relieve your pain and improve the quality of your life.

Hip replacement is already one of the most successful surgeries done today. But if you decide to have this surgery, there are steps you can take to make sure that you’ll love your choice.

The following assessment can help you find out what steps you may need to take.

Start

Have you tried nonsurgical options for your joint pain?

Yes.

By trying nonsurgical treatments first, you’ve taken the right approach. If you do decide to have surgery, you will know that you tried everything else first, including common treatments such as exercise, physical therapy and medicines.

No.

Your doctor may recommend trying nonsurgical treatments first. Some of these treatments may include exercise, physical therapy and medicines. If nonsurgical treatments are helping and your joint pain isn't too bad, you may want to continue with your current treatment plan.

Do you take an active role in your health?

Yes.

Great! Being proactive about your healthcare can mean speaking up and asking questions. It also includes making sure your doctor knows about any health conditions that could affect the outcome of your surgery. Share your personal and family medical history with your doctor. Tell them about all of the medicines you're taking and whether you're allergic to anything.

No.

It's not too late to start! Ask your doctor what you can do to be proactive about your healthcare, which helps you get the best possible results. Be sure to discuss your health history with your doctor. Also, provide a full list of your medicines and allergies.

If you have diabetes, is it under control?

Yes.

Keep up the good work! Having diabetes may raise your risk of surgery complications, such as an infection. This and other risks may be reduced if your diabetes is well-controlled before surgery.

No.

Work with your diabetes care team to get your disease under control. Talk to them about your goals for managing diabetes and your plans for surgery.

I don't know.

Ask your doctor if your diabetes is well-controlled. Having diabetes may raise your risk of surgery complications, such as an infection. If you need to improve your diabetes control before you have surgery, talk with your doctor about the best way to do that.

If you have anxiety or depression, are you getting treatment?

Yes.

Joint pain and anxiety or depression often go hand in hand. Anxiety and depression are treatable. You’ll want to keep working with your provider to manage these conditions before you have surgery.

No.

If you think you might have anxiety or depression, tell your doctor. These conditions are treatable. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. And your mental outlook is important when you are considering whether to have surgery.

Have you talked to your doctor about your current use of painkillers?

Yes.

The medications you take now could affect how well your pain is managed after surgery. If you use painkillers (such as opioids), ask your doctor to help you slowly cut back. Don't stop taking your pain medicines without talking with your doctor first. Quitting suddenly can cause problems like uncontrolled pain or withdrawal symptoms.

No.

The medications you take now could affect how well your pain is managed after surgery. If you use painkillers (such as opioids), ask your doctor to help you slowly cut back. Don't stop taking your pain medicines without talking with your doctor first. Quitting suddenly can cause problems like uncontrolled pain or withdrawal symptoms.

Do you smoke?

Yes.

Ask your doctor to help you quit. Because it affects blood circulation, smoking can hamper healing and slow your recovery.

No.

Good for you! Not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. And it can make surgery safer. If you don't smoke, your body also may take less time to recover after surgery.

Are you overweight?

Yes. Those extra pounds can put excess stress on your new hip. Ask your doctor if you should try to shed pounds before your surgery to take pressure off your new joint.

No. That's good. Excess weight can put stress on your new hip. Keep on eating well and staying as active as possible so that you can continue to maintain a healthy weight.

I don’t know.

Checking your body mass index (BMI) is one way to tell if you are at a healthy weight. Use this BMI calculator. If your results suggest you are overweight, ask your doctor if you should try to shed those pounds to protect your new hip.

Do you have someone who can help you with daily tasks after surgery?

Yes.

That's good. For the first several weeks, you will need someone to help you at home with things like cooking, cleaning and shopping. Having a caregiver will make your recovery at home easier and safer for you.

No.

You may need someone to help you with tasks like cooking, cleaning and shopping for the first several weeks. You might ask a family member or close friend to help you. If you don't have someone to stay with you, tell your doctor. The hospital where your surgery will be performed may be able to arrange for someone to help you at your home.

Do you know how to prepare your home for surgery?

Yes.

Some changes can make it safer and easier for you to get around during your recovery. For instance, removing throw rugs can lower your risk of falling and damaging your new hip. And there are items you can buy that will allow you to get dressed or grab objects from the floor without bending your joint too much.

No.

Ask your doctor what you can do to make your home safer and easier to get around in while you're on the mend. For instance, removing throw rugs can lower your risk of falling and damaging your new hip. And there are tools you can use to avoid bending your new hip too much.

Talk to your doctor about the results of this assessment. Find out which steps you may need to take to ensure a successful surgery that you can be happy with. If you have questions or concerns about any of these steps, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

Are you ready to take care of your new hip?

Find out how

Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons; Arthritis Foundation; U.S. Food and Drug Administration

 

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