hip arthritis treatment

Hip Replacement Surgery and Recovery Info for the Sandwich Generation

Many of us in the baby boomer generation are dealing with total hip replacement surgery issues for themselves or their elderly parentsHip replacement surgery and recovery! Anytime you say surgery, the "worry lines" tend to appear, don't they? Whether for yourself or a loved one.

Any surgery carries a risk – both physical and mental – and the older the patient the more this is true. But anterior and traditional hip replacement surgery both appear to have excellent records and are a major blessing for patients suffering tremendously from hip arthritis, so I was quite encouraged as I read and researched various sites, including this article from PubMed.gov,  Survival Following Total Hip Replacement Surgery

I then went looking for an informative hip replacement surgery video and found several, starting with this interesting video from the offices of Dr. Steven S. Louis, orthopedic surgeon, describing the difference between anterior vs posterior in hip replacement surgery from the point of view of Ms. Lonngren, who is both a nurse AND a patient who has had one of each type of surgery. I do not know Ms. Lonngren or Dr. Louis, who was her surgeon, and who is on the orthopedic team at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Illinois. However what I heard was similar to what my relative's hospital talked about. MAJOR CAVEAT TIME –  This info is presented with no guarantees. It is purely informational. As ALWAYS, be sure to consult your own doctor to confirm anything you may have questions about. ALWAYS good advice about ANY medical condition. 🙂

With that being said, here's the video. 🙂

WebMD, one of my favorite medical resources, also has two videos on hip replacement surgery in their Aging Gracefully video section:

And last but not least and DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH:

MedLinePlus from the U.S. National Institutes of Health has several videos that all appear to be the actual operations as does this video.

A practical guide to hip surgery and recovery can be very handy for the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parentsAll in all, the news for the baby boomers and seniors dealing with hip replacement surgery and recovery for ourselves or our senior parents seems to be quite positive. And that's great news for this Sandwich Generation caregiver. How about you? 

After hip replacement surgery and during the recovery period walkers for seniors are often used - like this carex walkerHip arthritis pain! It can be a bear, can't it! What do you do when each treatment you try no longer works?!?! My senior mom had the traditional total hip replacement surgery 15 years ago because of it and I still remember the shock I felt when she told me that for a prolonged period during her recovery she couldn't cross her legs because of it! What would I DO without my crossed legs! And the shots she had to have daily! I was SO grateful my senior dad was brave enough to give them to her. She had to have them every day for about three weeks. She was so brave! And an excellent patient! She recuperated very quickly because she did everything the doctor told her to, along with regular exercise. At the time, they lived in a retirement community that had a lovely large pool – perfect for long walks with minimal stress on her body. It was a huge help! But it was definitely a long process.

This Elongated Hinged Elevated Toilet Seat with a Unique hinged seat for elongated toilets is very helpful for those dealing with painful arthritis in the hip.Fast forward 15 years and, to paraphrase an old commercial (showing my baby boomer age), "hip replacement surgeries have come a long way, baby!" They still offer the traditional surgeries – known as a posterior hip replacement surgery. As the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NIAMS) puts it:

During a traditional hip replacement, which lasts from 1 to 2 hours, the surgeon makes a 6- to 8-inch incision over the side of the hip through the muscles and removes the diseased bone tissue and cartilage from the hip joint, while leaving the healthy parts of the joint intact. Then the surgeon replaces the head of the femur and acetabulum with new, artificial parts. The new hip is made of materials that allow a natural gliding motion of the joint.

But there's also a new procedure, an anterior hip replacement surgery, to accomplish the same thing in what is often an easier way:

In recent years, some surgeons have begun performing what is called a minimally invasive, or mini-incision, hip replacement, which requires smaller incisions and a shorter recovery time than traditional hip replacement. Candidates for this type of surgery are usually age 50 or younger, of normal weight based on body mass index, and healthier than candidates for traditional surgery. Joint resurfacing is also being used.

This Home Care by Moen Locking Elevated Toilet Seat with Support Handles is a favorite for our sandwich generation family as it can be easily removed for visiting grandkidsWe learned about the anterior vs posterior in hip replacement surgery this week at a surgery prep class. We were quite excited to learn that with the anterior surgery, per our local hospital, old rules about crossing legs or leaning forward in a chair may no longer apply! Unfortunately, the shots still do as that has to do with the blood thinning issues. But I was encouraged to learn the shot needle is very short, can go in almost anywhere, and is much less painful than I might have thought.

I have one family member who has had two hip replacement surgeries in the last two years and another senior relative who is having an anterior hip replacement surgery in the next few weeks that I will be actively involved in helping with. So as I learn more about dealing with all this, you know I'll be sharing the information with you as well. Including how I do with those, gulp, shots.  🙂  Have you had to deal with hip replacement surgery and recovery due to arthritis pain in your hip? Or are you caring for an elderly relative who has. We'd love to hear your tips!  And in case you are wondering, the pictures I used for this article are some of our tips – great tools to help those dealing with arthritis hip pain, as well as the surgery recovery period. 🙂