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Direct anterior/bikini hip replacement FAQs

Direct anterior/bikini hip replacement


Anterior Total Hip Replacement is major surgery, so we have listed as many commonly asked questions about the procedure as we can.

Am I too young for hip replacement surgery?

Hip arthritis affects people of many ages, and hip replacement surgery is an effective pain relieving operation.  Hip replacements are done, with excellent results, on both very young (teenagers) and older patients.  If hip preservation options have failed, then total hip replacement may be a viable option to discuss with Mr Slattery, as he specializes in hip disorders in young patients.

When can I walk after an anterior total hip replacement?

Full weight-bearing and walking is allowed immediately after an anterior hip replacement,. Initially, this will be aided by crutches. We get all patients mobilising Day 1 after their operation on crutches.  Most people will walk independently by 10-14 days postoperatively.

When can I drive after an anterior total hip replacement?

You should not drive for at least 48 hours after an anaesthetic. After 48 hours, your ability to drive will depend on the side you had your operation, left or right, the type of vehicle you drive, manual or automatic and what type of pain relief you are taking. It is generally reasonable to drive when you are confident with walking and can fully weight-bear on your affected side. The usual recommendation is 6 weeks.

When can I work after an anterior total hip replacement?

Your return to work will vary depending on the procedure performed and type of work you are engaged in. Most people can return to office work within 2 weeks. More strenuous manual work, may require you to take 4-6 weeks before returning to full duties.

When can I play sports after an anterior total hip replacement?

Low impact activities, such as cycling and swimming, can be commenced from week 6. High impact activities, such as running, or excessive twisting such as during tennis or golf, are best avoided for 12 weeks after surgery.

How long does a hip replacement last?

90% of total hip replacements will last 20yrs – this means that 1 in 10 people at 20years will have had an exchange procedure on their hip.  This does vary by age, and the reason for the hip replacement.

How long will I take to heal after an anterior total hip replacement?

The wounds take 7-10 days to heal. Most patients improve dramatically in the first 6 weeks. Occasionally, there are periods where the hip may become sore and then settle again. This is part of the normal healing process. It takes three months for your hip to fully recover from a hip replacement. Continued improvements may be gained up to 1 year post-surgery.

How much pain will I experience after an anterior total hip replacement?

Most patients are surprised at how little pain they have after surgery. A local anaesthetic is injected around the wound during the procedure and a local anaesthetic catheter is placed in the wound after the procedure to minimise any pain you may experience. In combination with the muscle sparing anterior approach, this allows most patients to walk within a few hours after surgery.

How much does a total hip replacement cost?

For most patients the majority of their total hip replacement is covered by either their health insurance (in the private system), or medicare (in the public system).   There are also ‘gap fees’ which Dr Slattery minimises to reduce your overall out of pocket expenses.

The entire cost of a total hip replacement varies depending on many factors such as:

  • the type of implants – this can vary from around $3000 for a cemented plastic and metal total hip replacement, to around $8000 for an uncemented ceramic on ceramic prosthesis
  • the duration of your hospital stay – hospitals charge by the day, and by the type of bed that is being occupied, for example a standard ward bed costs less than an ICU bed
  • the x rays and tests that are ordered
  • the amount of physiotherapy and rehab you may require
  • the type of medications you require
  • and many other factors

The total cost of a hip replacement is approximately $20-30000.  The vast majority of this is covered by your private health insurance.  It is wise to check your health insurance policy to check that you are covered for joint replacement surgery, as this is usually excluded on all but the top levels of cover due to its cost.

Which implants does Mr Slattery use?

Mr Slattery uses a variety of implants depending upon the shape of your bones and the type of arthritis you have.  He is skilled in using uncemented, cemented and latest generation mini stems as well as a variety of bearing components  to suit your individual needs.  These will be discussed with you prior to surgery.

Will I beep going through metal detectors at airports?

Maybe.  It depends upon the settings of the metal detector in use, some countries have higher sensitivities than others, so whilst you may not set them off in Australia you may do so overseas.  Normally it is not an issue if you tell them you have had a hip replacement.

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