North Point Orthopaedics

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801 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 304
Munster IN 46321

Hip Replacement Information: Surgery

Your Hip Evaluation

Dr. McComis specializes in problems affecting bones and joints. He will ask you many questions about your hip symptoms, as well as your general health to determine if hip surgery is safe and appropriate for you. The evaluation will include a careful examination and review of your X-rays and other tests. This will help him understand your pain and limitations in activity and the progression of your hip problem.

After your history is taken, a physical exam is performed. The range of motion of your hips and knees is measured and your muscle strength is evaluated. The he will observe how you walk, sit, bend and move.

X-rays are taken of your hip joint. Bring any previous hip X-rays with you to your appointment.

Before Surgery

You will likely be asked to see your family physician or an internal medicine doctor for a thorough medical evaluation. It is essential that you tell your surgeon about any medications or supplements you are taking. Bring a list of all medications and dosages. If you are taking aspirin or certain arthritis medications, inform your surgeon; you may need to stop taking these 10 days before surgery.

If you are taking Aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin or any other blood thinning medications under the direction of a physician for vascular or cardiac reasons, your doctor may advise you to discontinue taking it as directed.

You may be asked to donate your own blood ahead of time for a possible transfusion during surgery. This is done at Heartland Blood Center in Griffith, IN. They can be reached at 219-922-1942. You will need to call and schedule these appointments prior to surgery.

You will be asked to go to St. Margaret Mercy and obtain a special x-ray of your affected hip. This special x-ray allows us to plan your surgery ahead of time. If your surgery is scheduled at Community Hospital you will be given a prescription for this x-ray. If at St. Margaret's they will have the order once your surgery is scheduled.

The hospital at which you are scheduled for your procedure will contact you for a pre-admission testing appointment. This is a time to make sure all necessary medical tests have been done and allows an Anesthesia professional to evaluate you and answer your questions about undergoing anesthesia.

Your Surgery

Usually patients are admitted to the hospital the morning of surgery. You cannot eat or drink anything after midnight the day of surgery.

The Recovery Room

You will awaken after your surgery in the Post-Anesthesia Recovery Room. You will remain there until you have recovered from the anesthesia, you are breathing well, and your blood pressure and pulse are stable. You may feel as though you only left your room for a few minutes. If you experience pain, medication will be available. Post-operative pain control is started immediately in the recovery room.

What To Expect After Surgery

You may move both legs as soon as you awaken. The nurse will help you find comfortable positions. The nurse will encourage you to do ankle pumping exercises every hour to help protect against blood clots.

An IV is seldom used for more than 24 hours. You will quickly begin regular fluid and food intake in the hospital under the direction and advice of your surgeon.

You may have a tube or drain coming through the surgical dressing that is attached to a drainage apparatus. This system provides gentle, continuous suction to remove any blood that may accumulate in the surgical area. The drain will probably be removed soon after surgery. Your dressing will be changed and a smaller one applied.

For a Traditional Hip replacement you will wake up with a pillow between your legs to remind you of special hip movement precautions. With the Anterior Approach you will not have this pillow.

To prevent problems in your lungs, you may receive a device called an incentive spirometer after surgery to encourage you to cough and breathe deeply. This is used every hour while you are awake.

It is normal to feel discomfort after surgery, but severe post-op pain resolves very quickly. With modern pain management techniques, there is no reason to suffer. Inform the nurse of your pain, and medication will be ordered.

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