How to Prepare for Hip Replacement Surgery

U.S.News & World Report—February 2, 2015

Staying Hip

Hip replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common, as waves of aging baby boomers desire to remain active well beyond their golden years. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 320,000 hip replacement procedures are performed annually, most of them to alleviate severe arthritis pain. Surgeons say many patients come into pre-operative appointments with questions and concerns. Here are eight of the most common:

How should I educate myself about hip replacement?

Visit websites of institutions specializing in the surgery, says Michael Parks, associate attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Are there alternatives to surgery?

Most patients who undergo hip replacement surgery have already exhausted the alternatives, including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory injections to help cope with pain and mobility issues. If symptoms haven't improved despite exploring other avenues, surgery may be a strong option. "The natural history of hip and knee arthritis is that it gets worse," Parks adds. But if surgery is the chosen route, Parks encourages patients to schedule the procedure while they're still young enough to enjoy being active.

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