Patient Experience

I was terrified of going under the knife. But you know what? Hip replacements are almost as routine as getting a dental crown. My hospital stay was short, only 2-3 days. The worst part was drug-induced indigestion.

Product Used: The product brochure from Smith & Nephew (who made both my hips) had pictures of how it all works. My surgeon used a posteriolateral approach also called minimally invasive posterior approach. They cut my hip open on the side and parted the muscles like a curtain. The hip is dislocated, the top of the femur is removed, and the hip socket is gouged out to receive the new socket. The ball and socket are two parts. The ball has a shaft that goes into the femur, and the socket is screwed into the hip.

Precautions: There are hip precautions or forbidden movements. Mine included not turning the foot inwards (no pigeon-toed stance), not crossing my legs, and not bending forward at the hip too far. I couldn’t tie my shoes, and had special tools to put on my pants and socks.

Sex: The Sex After Surgery brochure was a hoot! Apparently, you have to wear pajamas and a leotard. I think the drawings, while chaste and rather heteronormative, conveyed the essential points. And yes, you can have sex as soon as 2 weeks after surgery – I’ve done it.

Pain Management: I used ordinary acetominophen plus an anti-seizure med called gabapentin, and ice packs. I ditched the Celebrex, the stool softener, and didn’t need opiates.

The Scar: OK, so I have 2 scars, one on each side. Each is around 3-4 inches long. They don’t show through clothes. I don’t care about thong bikinis and the mobility was more than worth it.