Surgery is a major decision, but one that can improve your life. Hip replacement surgery is a procedure with a very high success rate that aims to relieve pain, increase range of motion and get you back to your daily activities. In 2018, hip replacement was named “the surgery of the century” in the prestigious scientific journal Lancet. Modern techniques allow smaller incisions than in the past, shorter recovery times and longer-lasting results.

If you’re considering hip replacement surgery, here’s what you need to know about the various stages of the process:

Step 1: Making the right decision.
There are many reasons why someone might consider joint replacement. Most often, persistent pain and difficulties with regular activities are an important source of motivation. Pain can be a symptom of arthritis or due to injury. Surgery becomes an option when pain interferes with daily life and other treatments, lifestyle changes and medication, don’t help.

The person who can best advise you on your treatment options is your orthopedic surgeon. To prepare for your orthopedic consultation, you should research your condition and the surgical options available to you. It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions for the surgeon. This allows him or her to address your concerns and be better prepared for the next steps. The decision to undergo surgery is a personal one, based on the impact of the disease on your quality of life. Your orthopaedic surgeon is there to advise you and provide you with the information you need to make the right decision.

Step 2: Preparing for surgery.
Once your decision has been made, a careful nursing and medical assessment will be undertaken to identify and optimize personal medical conditions that could interfere with the success of your operation. For example, diabetes or anemia must be managed. If necessary, we will suggest that you modify unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. We’ll suggest a preparation plan that includes reading, exercise, help from loved ones, and preparing your home for the recovery period.

Step 3: Surgery
At Clinique Duval, we use a unique, optimized recovery protocol that accelerates recovery and often results in a pain-free post-operative period. Gone are the long days before surgery: you can eat solid foods up to 6 hours before surgery and drink clear liquids up to 2 hours before surgery. A modern anesthetic, combining a spinal injection of a short-acting drug and sedation with an intravenous medication, will ensure pain-free surgery during which you will be completely asleep (without being under a general anesthetic). No narcotic drugs are used. During surgery, damaged bones and cartilage are removed and replaced by prostheses. The prosthesis consists of several parts: a metal stem that fits into the femur, topped by a metal or ceramic head, a metal cup, which fits into the acetabulum and contains a plastic or ceramic insert. The implants used by the Clinique’s team enable unrestricted recovery and can last for over 20 years. Performing hundreds of surgeries a year, the Clinic’s surgeons practice a minimally invasive approach, completing surgery in less than sixty minutes. Skin glue is used to close the wound, eliminating the need to remove wires or metal staples.

Step 4: Take time to recover properly.
Having a safe environment after your surgery is essential. At Clinique Duval, we offer a hospitalization program that includes nursing care, physiotherapy, and medical follow-up. The recovery period is essential to the success of any operation. Physiotherapy will begin a few hours after your surgery. You’ll be able to walk with a cane and climb stairs the day after surgery. With an optimized recovery protocol that’s effective and minimizes pain, a common mistake is being too active or trying to do too much too fast. You really need to give your tissues and bones time to heal properly. Our team will be happy to advise you. You should be able to resume your normal activities within four to six weeks.

You can learn more about the steps involved for the patient, including the post-surgery stay at Clinique orthopédique Duval here. Clinique Duval is the Canadian reference for private hip and knee joint replacement.

* This article is not exhaustive and is not an official medical instruction document. Always talk to your doctor about the best way to prepare for surgery.