If you have been recommended to have hip surgery, you are already loaded with questions about the surgery. Some may seem serious and you should have their answers; others may seem frivolous and your embarrassment about them may prevent asking them. However, no question is a frivolous question if you do not have the answer and the answer to every unasked question is no.
Your hips are a stress point for everything you do below and above them. They bear stress even when sitting down. They represent a critical body pivot point. Hip surgery and its resulting benefits may still carry some restrictions, at least in the short term. Here are some question suggestions:
1. What should I do now to prepare? Consider your daily routine and how that may be disrupted by your recovery and associated restrictions of mobility. For this, and all questions below, your hip surgeon may have answers to questions that you have not considered.
2. What about my mobility after surgery? Will you need to use a wheelchair, walker, or a cane? If you are not familiar with these tools, can you obtain it now to practice mobility while you are still mobile and can get used to its restrictions, such as maneuvering on and off the toilet and in and out of bed.
3. What should be my recovery period before I have full mobility restored and can live a normal life? Can you expect a full, mobile recovery on your feet? If not, what may be the restrictions?
4. During recovery, will there be need for physical therapy? If so, for how long and what will be the routines involved? Will you need a therapist or are the therapy exercises self-driven?
5. After recovery, will there be an extended time after being able to walk before I can engage other activities that are more stressful? Can you run, swim, ski, and work in the garden, play sports?
6. If replacement parts are to be part of the surgery, and if I travel, will I trigger security metal detectors? How do I accommodate their safety requirements and still have the freedom to travel?
7. Of what materials are the implanted parts made? Can you expect they will not interfere with your bodys immune system?
8. There seems to be a lot of television ads for warnings about particular brands of hip replacement parts. What brand is being used in my surgery? If the brand the surgeon uses is on the list in the ads, why is the surgeon using it instead of another brand?
9. Are the replacement parts being used expected to last the rest of my life, or am I looking at re-replacement surgery down the road? Your natural hips were intended to last a lifetime; implanted parts ought to have the same intent. The surgeon cannot make guarantees because your activities cannot be fully anticipated.
10. What did I do in the first place that caused the need for surgery? If it was a specific cause and was an activity I enjoy, can I expect better performance from the replacement parts to continue that activity?
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