Outpatient Hip Replacement
Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common and most successful types of orthopedic surgery. It involves the replacement of the damaged hip bone (ball shaped upper end of the femur) with a metal or ceramic ball attached to a metal stem that is fixed into the femur and attached to the pelvic region. Traditionally, the surgery was performed with a large, open incision and required the patient to stay in the hospital for several days. With advanced techniques, it is now possible to perform this surgery on an outpatient basis, where the patient goes home on the same day as the surgery. Outpatient hip surgery uses the same implants as traditional surgery, but involves a smaller incision and newer exposure techniques when compared to the traditional procedure. Recent studies have shown that, in the correct patients, outpatient hip replacement is safe and can avoid the need for hospitalization.
Outpatient hip surgery is indicated in patients who have failed non-operative treatments for their hip arthritis, are healthy and motivated enough to have surgery on an outpatient basis, and whose insurance covers outpatient hip replacement. Discuss with your surgeon whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for same day hip replacement.
Outpatient hip surgery is designed to allow surgeons to replace the damaged hip bones with metal, ceramic, and plastic implants. The incision usually measures around 3 to 6 inches compared to 10 to 12 inches for traditional surgery and is usually placed on the outside of the thigh. The head of the damaged femur is removed and the hip socket is cleaned. A titanium socket is placed into the patient’s hip socket bone and a plastic liner is snapped into the new socket to replace the damaged cartilage. A metal stem is inserted into the femur bone and a ceramic or metal ball is then placed on the end of this stem. The hip is then rejoined and the surrounding tissues are brought back to the normal position. The goal of the surgery is to correctly place the new implants while minimizing the damage to the surrounding muscle and tissue.
The benefits of outpatient hip surgery are:
- Avoids prolonged hospital stay
- Allows patients to return to the safe, comfortable environment of their home to recover
- Surgery is performed in specialized center dedicated to outpatient surgery and rapid recovery
- Potential for less risk and fewer complications compared to surgery performed in a hospital setting