There have been a lot of medical developments in hip surgery in the past decade. Hip surgery used to involve spending weeks in recovery in hospital, where extreme care was taken to not allow a patient to flex their hip joint more than 90 degrees. If a newly-implanted artificial hip was flexed or stress much in the two weeks following surgery, the joint could dislodge itself, causing a complete failure.
For this reason, special equipment was needed, including exercise mats that would rise up and down, and they could actually lift themselves up to waist level so a patient could get on and off without putting stress on the hip joint. There was a also a large scar following an equally large open incision where a spike was implanted deep in the patient’s femur to anchor the new artificial hip joint. However, with new technology being developed, and a major push from insurance companies wanting to reduce the rehabilitation time to keep costs down, patients are often sent home two days following a total hip replacement surgery.
While even this can be completely safe, assuming the hip joint was properly designed, as our Boston artificial hip replacement injury attorneys have seen all too often, many of the artificial joints on the market have been defectively designed and result in serious personal injury.
Now, to shorten the hospital stay even more than it has already been reduced, a recent article from News 8 discussed an outpatient hip replacement surgery now being done that offers a hope of less pain following the operation. These new operations are being called “hips in a day.” This new procedure is an alternative to the traditional inpatient total hip replacement surgery. An outpatient orthopedic specialist can do a total hip replacement.
Surgeons say with these new outpatient total hip replacement options, there is no evidence that the long-term prognosis is any better or worse than with traditional inpatient hip replacement surgery, but they have found there is significantly less post-operative pain and discomfort and much shorter recovery periods.
Specifically, the procedure is known as a direct anterior minimally invasive hip replacement. Rather than making an incision on the side or rear of the hip, the surgeon makes a smaller incision on the front of this hip. This allows him or her to get the hip replacement components in place and secured to the natural bone, while damaging much less of the patient’s muscle tissue surrounding the joint. The less muscle that is damaged, the less pain, greater ability to move, and faster recovery time there will be, according to surgeons who perform these new outpatient total hip surgery operations.
With this type of surgery, general anesthesia is not used, and this makes it less likely a patient will need an overnight stay, since anesthesia can sometimes lead to complications and take more time to wear off. In outpatient surgery, the patient is given a neural block through local anesthesia that puts a patient to sleep from the waist down. However, most patients decide to take a nap during the surgery, but because they are not sedated, they can get up much sooner.
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Less painful hip replacements done as outpatient surgery, July 9, 2015, News 8
More Blog Entries:
More Younger Americans Undergo Total Hip Replacement Surgery Than Ever Before, August 17, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyer Blog