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Hip Treatment & Replacement

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Total hip replacement (or hip arthroplasty) is a technique that has become widespread in recent years in response to the need for improving hip joints that have been damaged by injury or arthritis.

Joint replacement surgery may offer the best treatment option for long-term improvement for the hip joint when other treatments have proven inadequate. In most cases, having a total hip replacement reduces joint pain and means a return to pain-free movement.

Our team also performs more conservative treatments such as cortisone treatments.

Overview

Lee Health's Joint Center team strives to provide first-class care to all of our patients to help restore you to a higher quality of living. Every hip replacement patient who comes through our doors is treated with the personalized care that is the hallmark of our service.

We also maintain a team atmosphere, whether it is our highly skilled staff members working together to help you, or patients joining forces to help each other excel during the recovery process.

We involve you in your comprehensive planned course of treatment every step of the way.

This begins with a Pre-Op education class that helps you understand what to expect, and continues through your discharge from the hospital and recovery at home or in a skilled nursing/rehabilitation facility.

Lee Health is home to the largest orthopedic program in Southwest Florida and one of only a handful of wellness-based joint replacement centers in the country.

The Joint Centers are located within three of Lee Health hospitals—Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital.

The Joint Center includes:

  • Pre-operative total joint education class
  • Navigators, nurses, therapists, care managers and patient care technicians who specialize in the case of knee replacement patients
  • Emphasis on group activities and individual care
  • Patient support person is educated to act as “coach” in the recovery process
  • A comprehensive patient guide for you to follow before your surgery and beyond
  • Reunion luncheons for former patients and coaches
  • Newsletters to update you with new information about arthritis and joint care
  • Public education seminars about hip and knee pain

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is a hip replacement?

A: A hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts. The goal of hip replacement is to allow you to move easily with less discomfort.

Q: Who should have a hip replacement?

A: When hip pain severely limits your ability to walk, or perform even simple activities, hip replacement should be considered.

Q: Is there an alternative to hip replacement?

A: There are a number of conservative measures your physician may suggest before you consider hip replacement. This includes anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections and physical therapy. Hip replacement is only recommended after all other treatment methods have failed to adequately relieve your symptoms.

Q: Are there complications?

A: As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications after hip replacement surgery. However, they are quite rare. We take measures to prevent complications such as blood clots and surgical site infections.

Q: Will I have pain?

A  Yes, you will have some pain or discomfort at the surgical site. During your stay we will do everything we can to make you comfortable. There are several medications we can use to reduce your discomfort. The most important thing to remember is, unlike the pain you had prior to surgery, the pain you experience after joint replacement will get better.

Q: Can I talk to someone who has had a hip replacement?

A: Yes! We have patients that have had one or more hip replacements and would be happy to talk to you. We will be pleased to put you in touch with other people who have gone through the program.

Q: Do I need to be put to sleep for this surgery?

A  You may have a general anesthetic, which most people call "being put to sleep." Some patients prefer to have spinal or epidural anesthetic that numbs your leg only and light sedation. The choice is between you and the anesthesiologist.

Q: How long is the hospital stay?

A: The average hospital stay for a hip replacement patient is usually 1-3 nights. Patients having surgery on Monday typically go home on Wednesday or Thursday morning.

Q: Will I go home after surgery?

A: We strongly encourage patients to go home after discharge; there is usually no need for a nursing home. Keep in mind that healing and recovery times vary with each person. Some older patients who live alone may require a short stay at a Skilled Nursing Facility for a few days to a few weeks after they leave the hospital. Our case managers will assist you with placement before discharge.

Q: How long is recuperation?

A: Recovery varies with each individual. You may use a walker for approximately 2-4 weeks after the operation. Most people gradually increase their activities and play golf, doubles tennis, go bike riding, hiking, swimming and dancing, within 12 weeks after surgery.

Q: When can I drive?

A: Based on your progress, you may be able to drive a car in 4-6 weeks. You should check with your surgeon before driving. Please remember that as long as you are taking narcotic pain medications you should not drive.

Q: Do you recommend any restrictions following this surgery?

A: Yes. High-impact activities, such as running, downhill skiing, singles tennis and basketball are not recommended.

Related to Hip Treatment & Replacement

  • Hip Replacement Surgery (Robotic)

    If your hip has been damaged by arthritis, a fracture, or other conditions, common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. Your physician may recommend you to a Lee Health hip surgeon to see if surgery is a treatment option for you.