Monday, October 17, 2011

The Titanium Years

Who was it that said these are the Golden Years?  Just last week I went in for a minimially-invasive total anterior hip replacement and returned home with new body parts that are better than the old ones.   Hip replacements have become a ubiquitous topic these days with the emphasis on fast recovery.  The incision for this type of surgery looks a little like a slash pocket which is supposed to be over a "V" shaped void between two muscles which means the surgeon just pushes these muscles aside to get at the joint instead of having to cut through them.  Therein lies the speedy recovery.

My case is so similar to others it is hardly worth the discussion, but the experience of new things is what this blog is about, so on that criteria alone, it qualifies.  I've experienced hardly any pain or anxiety due mainly to the heavy drugs that ease pain and instill a general careless attitude.  The overnight stay in the hospital was a near Spa experience due to the friendliness and attentiveness of all staff and a private room.  I understand that hip replacements are a big money maker for hospitals and this one has it's own "Joint Replacement Center".  I even had a pneumatic leg messager that provided soothing (anti-blood clot) motion up and down both legs day and night.  The protocol is to use a walker for a week or so, then switch to a cane for a couple more weeks.  Back to work in two weeks is normal.

If you are wondering what or who decides when you need a replacement, the answer can be summed up as a team decision between you and your doctor.  My doctor never said "it's time", he only gave me information about my x-rays and the state of the joint from a clinical view.  I was the one who finally said "it's time" to him when I began not to want to walk downtown, ride my bike, and make audible pain sounds when first getting up from sitting.

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