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Day Case Total Hip Replacement after Direct Anterior Approach

Day Case Total Hip Replacement after Direct Anterior Approach

July 1, 2019

Thoughts are changing rapidly around surgery and recovery after hip replacement surgery. I think it is important that for the most part, those that need a hip replacement should not consider themselves as “patients” or that they are “sick” as is usually the association with being in hospital. Rather, I think the thought process should be around something being damaged that needs to be fixed.

With the introduction of less invasive methods for total hip replacement surgery, such as the Direct Anterior Approach, combined with anaesthetic techniques that allow a more rapid recovery after anaesthesia, becoming mobile after having a hip replacement has become a lot easier. Patients can be got up and walking within an hour or two of their surgery and, if appropriate arrangements are in place, can even plan to go home the same day as their operation. At home patients will be receiving the same medications as they would be while in hospital and mostly the requirements for strong pain medications can be significantly reduced after 3-4 days.

For some patients there may be medical reasons why they need to be in hospital for a few days after surgery, but for most patients who are not taking other medications and who are generally well, recovering in the home environment after surgery has lots of advantages.

A very important aspect of this approach to recovery after hip replacement is the pre-operative preparation. In particular to know what to expect and to be taught how to use crutches and how to perform the post-operative exercises. Attending a pre-operative ‘class’ is therefore very important so that patients are fully prepared and know exactly what to do in the days following their operation.

Although Hip Replacement Surgery remains a significant intervention, techniques are progressing to minimise the impact of the surgical procedure on patients and thereby making the whole recovery process much more straightforward.

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