Hip Replacement
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[An update from 2012: I have created a web site for my other hip.]

This is the tale of my full hip replacement. It is a personal account containing helpful information I wish I had before my surgery. I am an engineer and therefore am curious about everything, including my own hip replacement. This is definitely not a medical treatise; I may have lots of the terminology wrong and I'm not exactly certain I recalled the exact chronology correctly. But I am telling the complete story just as I remembered it.

I would expect some of you reading this are contemplating hip replacement surgery yourselves and have found this site while doing your research. I'm going to tell you everything I remember about the whole hip replacement process, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

And some of you may be here just for vicarious thrills. You just like to read about surgeries. I hope you find this tale interesting.

Warning: The majority of the viewers of this site believe it contains TMI (Too Much Information). But here is a supporting view from a co-worker who is a nurse:

"I thought the hip site was great. I don't agree with ... that there is too much detail. Maybe not the kind of detail you want to share having dinner with friends (unless one of them is up for hip replacement), but as a site to inform future "hipsters" I think it is wonderful. As a nurse, I don't believe that patients having elective surgeries can have too much information. The healthcare community tries to educate the patient, but it is too much in too short a time-and a time when the patient has too many things bombarding their gray matter. It is overwhelming, and people don't hear it all or retain a fraction of it. All that you reported is "routine" but too few patients are prepared for it. Few patients think about those activities of daily living that are so automatic---hygiene, bowel movements, urinating, eating. Your frank discourse certainly helps demystify the whole post op course-the good the bad and the ugly!!!!

Your advice on pain control was also great. My father-in-law and another friend both had major surgeries recently. They both had morphine pumps for pain after surgery. I was present when the nurse told them post-op that they were in the drivers seat of their pain control and to hit the button to give themselves pain medication. Neither one of them remembered those instructions. Also, both of them were trying to monitor their own medication usage and be careful that they didn't take too much. Neither had grasped the concept that the pump would not let them take too much medication and that maximum pain control was optimal for recovery.

If I was having a hip done in the near future, I would be very appreciative of the honest, and thorough, reporting."

Table of Contents

Why Did I Do It?

Pre-Op Visit

The Big Day - Thursday

First Post-Op Day - Friday

Second Post-Op Day - Saturday

Third Post-Op Day - Sunday

Fourth Post-Op Day - Monday

Fifth Post-Op Day - Tuesday

Home At Last

The Hardware

Hip Precautions

Time Line