Preparing for hip replacement surgery
According to statistics, every year the number of people suffering from arthritis grows, especially amongst those, who are over 60 years of age. According to WHO, 10% of men and 18% of women in this age group suffer from moderate and severe forms of osteoarthritis, which greatly influences their overall quality of life. However, painkillers may not always help and some patients decide to undergo hip replacement surgery to get the chance to lead a healthy lifestyle without any restrictions.
The surgery itself is only a half of the treatment and you need to be very careful when it comes to the pre- and postoperative period, to help you recover quickly and without any complications. Following simple rules and completing all the tests will lower the risk of complications and give you a chance to get back to normal life as soon as possible.
How to prepare for the surgery
The first and most important thing, which will guarantee you a positive outcome, is choosing an orthopaedic surgeon you can trust. Pay careful attention to his experience, techniques and recommendations. Under thorough and clear supervision, you will be able to recover within a short period of time without any complications or stress.
However, there are some pre-operative measures, which are listed below that will contribute to the overall outcome of the surgery.
1. Physical examinations and tests. This stage should never be undervalued no matter how great your wish to have surgery is. Your doctor should evaluate your health to make sure that the surgery and postoperative period will go as planned. You will also need to pass blood and urine tests, ECG and chest x-rays.
2. Skin and dental examination. You shouldn’t have any infections or irritations before surgery.
3. Blood donation. You may be asked to donate your blood in case you need a blood transfusion following surgery. It will be safely stored and available in case of an emergency.
4. Social assistance. You need to prepare for the postoperative period in advance and will have to ask for someone’s assistance during the first weeks following surgery. This can be a family member, friend or social services. You can also stay in a care facility if needed.
After all the tests have been completed and all necessary treatments taken, you can also prepare your home for the postoperative period to make it more comfortable and convenient. The following suggestions may be of a great use:
– Removal of loose carpets and electrical wires on the floor to make the surface even and prevent you from falling;
– Pillows on all surfaces like sofas, seats, armchairs, so that you can place your knees lower than your hips;
– Security safety rails in your shower or bath, which will eliminate the risk of falling due to a wet floor;
– Handrails along the stairs, so you can lean on them in cases of fatigue or pain;
– Higher-raised toilet seats;
– Special bench for the shower, so you won’t have to put pressure on the hip whilst standing;
– Items, which will let you reach various objects around the house to prevent you bending too much;
– Dressing aids and shoehorns to help you dress and put on shoes without bending.
With the help of all these items, as well as thorough preparation before surgery, you may avoid complications and get back to normal life as quickly as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if questions arise, or you need information about your health or to adjust the treatment plan to meet your personal needs.