Hip Replacement

Hip Replacement: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to hip replacement:

Q: If I decide to have a total hip replacement, how many years will it last?

A: New materials used in total hip replacement are very durable and are expected to last greater than ten years in 90% of individuals receiving total hips. The chance of hip replacement lasting 20 years is 80%.

Q: How soon following total hip replacement should I be able to progress to walking independently?

A: The speed with which a person is able to abandon the use of crutches, a walker or cane varies from individual to individual and with the type of artificial implant used. The majority of people require only a cane after six weeks, although others may need more time to progress.

Q: How soon can one drive again after total hip replacement?

A: Following total hip replacement, individuals are generally advised not to drive for six weeks. However, some may be able to return earlier. The surgeon will determine the appropriate time upon re-evaluation of the new hip joint.

Q: Will my medical insurance policy cover all or most of a total hip replacement?

A: Because of the nature and potential need for this particular surgery, Medicare and most other medical insurance policies cover some or the majority of the surgery. However, it is often necessary to contact the medical insurance company before the surgery and inquire if prior authorization for coverage is needed. At that time, the insurance company will advise what percentage of the charges will be paid for by the patient.

Q: How often do I need to do my instructed exercises and for how long after surgery?

A: The exercise program should be performed 2 times per day for the initial 6 to 8 weeks. After this time, if the individual has progressed to a cane or to walking without an assistive device, frequency can be reduced to 3 times a week to maintain strength and endurance. Because recovery times vary, the final decision should be made only by the physician and/or physical therapist.

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