Orthopaedic Surgeon Questions Hip Replacement Surgery

My mother is going in for a Hip replacement surgery. What should I ask the doctor?

My mother fell and is due for a hip replacement surgery. What are the key things that the doctor will check for? Also, what are the main questions I should ask before scheduling the surgery?

12 Answers

What type of prosthesis will be needed. When can she bear full weight after surgery;what does her medical specialist think about her risks , cardiopulmonary etc?
If your Mom has pain that keeps her from activities that she enjoys, then she may be a candidate for hip replacement.
Educate yourself about hip replacement surgery (there are many good booklets that talk about the subject easily explaining the scope of the surgery in lay terms accompanied with vivid illustrations. Those booklets are provided by your surgeon). Follow this with the discussion about all pertinent risks and benefits to include what to anticipate in the immediate period after surgery as well long-term and future need for a revision. This includes infection and failure of the prosthesis as well as dislocation.
Based on the question we must assume that a hip replacement is indicated and necessary. Comirbidities such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and others need to be determined and stabilized as much as possible
before surgery. The nature of the operation, the risks, alternatives and expected prognosis need to be discussed with the surgeon. Also, there needs to be discussion of care after surgery: Home or not, caregivers and therapy and other treatments.
You should ask your surgeon about a direct anterior approach to the hip. Also find out how frequently does the hospital and the surgeon to have replacements. The surgeon should do a minimum of 50 a year and the hospital a minimum of several hundred a year. If the surgeon does the direct into your approach, you should have done at least 100 already. There are no reasons to not do the interior approach. Less experience surgeons avoid it unfortunately. Recovery easier
I would google "what questions should I ask before a hip replacement". I just did that and the answers are better than I can provide
1. How many of these procedures have you done?
2. What are the complications of this procedure?
3. How long will I be in the hospital and how long will it take before I am recovered?
4. When can I drive?
5. When can I begin on normal activities?
6. Are there any precautions or activities I should avoid for the first six weeks after surgery?
7. Are there any activities that I will have to avoid after I'm completely healed and/or recovered?
- Does she have pain that wakens her up at night?
- Can she sit in a tub or very low chair?
- Does she have difficulty putting on socks and shoes?

If the Dr. does not ask these questions, leave. The Dr. should in great detail outline the risks of the surgery and should listen patiently to all questions and if he/she cannot do this, again walk out and leave.
She has a fragility fracture of her femoral neck. Unless she is less than 70 and/or extremely active, a partial hip (hemi) will suffice and be very stable. Make sure they check a dexa scan in f/u to determine what meds she may need for bone density issues.
I would ask:

How many does the doctor do a year?

Does the doctor utilize assistants and what part of the surgery do they do?

Does the doctor do an anterior approach ? (muscle sparing)
What surgical approach will be used? There are three, anterior, posterior and superpath. The superpath technique is the newest and if the surgeon is experienced using this approach, there is less surgery, no muscle takedown, quicker recovery and very little chance of dislocation. How experienced is the surgeon is doing total hip replacement? What type of prosthesis will be used?
How many has he done before? Does he perform revision surgery (probably
means he can do the easy ones)? What is his complication rate compared to
other doctors?