Frequently Asked Questions about Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is growing more common among the elderly adults in the United States. There are many different factors that go into whether or not an aging adult is a good candidate for the surgery. Their overall health, support network, and dedication to post-surgery recovery efforts determine how successful or not the surgery really is. Family caregivers can learn all about hip replacement surgery so they can provide better elderly care when their aging relatives need them.
Q: What exactly is hip replacement surgery and who needs it?
A: Hip replacement surgery is a procedure that removes any damaged areas of an elderly person’s hip joint. The surgeon then replaces the diseased parts with man-made counterparts. Seniors that might need hip replacement surgery are those with bone tumors, arthritis, osteoporosis, or a hip fracture.
Q: What are the goals of hip replacement surgery in the elderly?
A: Many seniors live in pain and have limited movement from the hip joint. The goal of hip replacement surgery is to create a working hip joint that is pain-free, improves walking, facilitates movement, and lasts a long time.
Q: How long do elderly patients stay in the hospital for hip replacement surgery?
A: The surgery itself takes a couple of hours, and senior patients can expect to stay for up to four days post-surgery. They will work with respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. Within a day or so the senior will be taking steps with assistance and learning stretches and exercises to build up strength.
Q: Why do senior patients need elderly care and support when they are released from the hospital?
A: Because their movements are so restricted during the recovery phase of hip replacement surgery, seniors cannot do a lot of their daily care tasks on their own. Basic things like bathing, dressing, toileting and more may be too difficult for them while in the early weeks of recovery. A hired senior care aide can assist the elderly adult with health and hygiene until they can do it on their own.
Q: What about physical therapy after a hip replacement surgery?
A: To make the strongest recovery, elderly patients need to participate in physical therapy. At the hospital, the physical therapist will have them start with gentle exercises and build up over the weeks. Once the patient returns home, they must continue to see the physical therapist to build muscle and promote better balance.
Q: What are the odds of another hip surgery?
A: An artificial hip joint lasts about 15 years, so some seniors are candidates for another hip replacement surgery. This is known as revision surgery, where the doctor replaces one artificial hip joint with another newer one. Seniors may experience pain in the joint and reduced movement when it’s time to replace the artificial joint. The recovery time is just as long as before and requires a good elderly care support group.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Princeton, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information