If you're a senior, you surely remember when hip surgery was a dangerous proposition and involved a high likelihood of a long recovery. What you may not be aware of is just how much things have changed in this area of medicine. Now, the long incisions and high risks of infection are over, the amount of pain involved is significantly lower, and the recovery time is far faster. For these reasons and more, it is almost always worth it to go ahead and have your hip replacement instead of dealing with the constant pain of hip arthritis or other such problems.
The Importance of Today's Small Incisions
The most obvious benefit of a smaller incision is less pain, but that is far from the only one. A smaller opening takes a shorter time to heal because the body simply doesn't have to do as much work to seal the surgical wound. It also gives pathogens less of an opening into the body, so the chance of infection is lower. Finally, less tissue is disrupted, so fewer structures need to heal. This speeds overall recovery as well as incision healing.
Anesthesia is Now Safer and Easier to Tolerate
Constant improvements are made to improve the safety of anesthesia, both in terms of which drugs are used and the level of sedation provided. The days where every serious operation meant being knocked out cold with general anesthesia are over. Now, doctors have perfected the middle ground between the light, local anesthetics of the dentist's office and the full-on knockout that was once the only option at the hospital.
Thanks to these improvements, it is likely that you will receive a "regional block" such as an epidural to stop sensations from your hips and legs without truly knocking you out. Don't worry - the pain is completely blocked, and you'll still be given enough of a sedative that you might not even remember the operation. What's different is that your body's major systems won't be so deeply subdued. This improves safety, speeds your time in the recovery room, and reduces side-effects like nausea. You'll also regain your senses faster when the anesthetic wears off.
You Aren't Stuck in the Hospital For Long
Anyone who has had to endure a long stint in the hospital knows that the faster you get out, the better it is from a mental standpoint. Thanks to insurance companies clamping down on hospitals that never seem to want to let people out, you no longer have to fear being "kept prisoner" if you go in. Many hip replacement hospitals now consider 5 days to be a long stay!
You Can Still Get Post-Op Help if You Need It
Many seniors put off operations because they fear difficulty in taking care of themselves after an operation. If this describes you, you can now rest easy. By making use of our short-term rehabilitation services here at Church Home LifeSpring in middle Georgia, you'll have everything you need to recover quickly and safely. We can help with everything from meals to your physical therapy and prescribed medications. Even better, our location does not have a "hospital" atmosphere. Instead, it is comfortable and homey while still being designed to cater to the needs of those recovering from surgical procedures.
Here, you'll receive competent care from people who truly know the ins-and-outs of hip replacement recovery. You'll also get important services done for you, such as laundry and room cleaning, that help to reduce infection as well as improve your overall comfort.
To learn more about our short-term rehab options, just contact us. We'll be glad to explain all of the details.