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Here’s why your hip replacement experience will be unique

Hip replacements are pretty common these days. In fact, chances are likely that you know some people who have had one. If that’s the case, you’ve likely heard about their experiences, and you might feel like you have a good understanding of what to expect when you go in for one of your own.

While there are many similarities among all patients who undergo the procedure, there are also no identical surgeries, which can lead to extreme differences in the way patients are treated and the way that they feel about the surgery after it is completed. No respected surgeon will guarantee a perfect outcome, but below are some variables that can help ensure a more satisfactory experience.

Patient health

Your overall health will influence several things, including how soon you can have a procedure and the rate at which you recover from it. As AARP noted in an article about hip replacements, you might need to shed some pounds and build muscle before the procedure if you want to be able to put weight on your new hip sooner.

Damage

One of the great things about advancements in hip replacement is that there are now a variety of options that can be tailored to an individual’s needs. If you have only minimal damage, a preservation surgery or hip joint resurfacing might be the better route to take. Conversely, if you have extreme arthritic damage, a full-fledged total replacement might just be the best option. The best way to find out is to talk with your doctor.

Type of procedure

If the person giving you advice about a replacement received theirs more than 10 years ago, it’s possible that they simply aren’t aware of the newest minimally invasive techniques that are available to patients. It used to take months to recover from a replacement. Now it can take just weeks. Direct anterior and SuperPATH techniques are two examples MIS approaches, and they allow the key posterior muscle groups to remain intact, which minimizes the risk of dislocation and optimizes functionality for an easier recovery.

Physician skill

Many surgeons have evolved along with the updates in procedure possibilities. That being said, not every clinic has the most advanced tools or training, no surgery is fool-proof, and some practitioners might be new to the field. It’s important to choose a surgeon who has a good reputation for the procedure and is in the loop about current techniques. I am a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the founder and Director of the Laboratory of Advanced Arthroplasty Research in Robotics and Sensors at the New York University Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases, so you can feel confident that you’ll be in good hands when you come in for care.

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