Hip replacements are one of the most common joint replacement surgeries. When performed correctly, the procedure can help patients to return to a pain-free, better quality life.
Prior to undergoing the procedure, it is helpful to learn as much about it as you can. While there is plenty of information and advice to be found online, there are some questions you might not think to ask at your consultation.
How many hip replacements has the surgeon carried out?
You may not think to ask how many hip replacements the surgeon has carried out. It is logical to expect them to have experience if they are working as a joint replacement surgeon. However, knowing how many procedures they have carried out can help you to determine the level of risk involved.
Ideally, you will want to see how many replacements they have carried out over the past year. An interesting study carried out in Canada has revealed that surgeons who have carried out fewer than 35 hip replacements per year, were more likely to experience a higher rate of complications.
While the surgeon should be able to tell you, you can also find this information out online. The National Joint Registry is the largest knee and hip registry in the world. You may find it useful to look over the information provided in the registry prior to your consultation.
Which type of material will be used for the replacement?
Hip replacement materials don’t come in a one size fits all approach. There are hundreds of different types of prostheses to choose from. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask your surgeon which type of material they will be using.
Once you know what material is being used, you can research it on the Orthopaedic Data Evaluation Panel. There you will find numerous materials marked with a rating. Ideally, you will want the surgeon to use a material which comes with a 10A* or better rating.
What risks and complications can arise?
While nobody likes to think about what could go wrong during a procedure, there are risks and complications you should be aware of. The most common risks include infection, one hip may sit slightly further down than the other, and dislocation of the replaced joint.
The surgeon will be able to assess your individual risk factor. Being aware of what could go wrong helps you to prepare in advance.
How long will the joint replacement last?
How long your hip replacement lasts will depend upon several factors. Generally speaking, patients can expect their replacements to last around 25 years. However, the surgeon will be able to give you a more accurate timeline based upon the type of replacement used.
Undergoing a hip replacement can be daunting. The consultation gives you the opportunity to ask the surgeon questions about the procedure and what you can expect. The above are some of the questions you might not have thought to ask but which could prove useful prior to the procedure.
Despite the current COVID 19 crisis, Mr Simon Bridle is still available for consultations. He will be able to see clinically urgent cases in his clinics, but most consultations will be remote by telemedicine, either telephone or video link. Appointments can be arranged by contacting his PA Adriana, or by contacting the appointments team at Fortius Clinic, Parkside Hospital or St Anthony’s Hospital.