When an older adult starts to get arthritis-related pain, it can result in the need for a surgery known as hip replacement. Once arthritis deeply penetrates the joints and becomes quite painful, older adults can find it more difficult to get around and move. Once hip replacement surgery is done, it can help lower some of the painful symptoms the older adult is suffering from and provide them with their range of motion and freedom once again. Check out hip replacement surgery recovery tips and more.
If the older adult you are caring for is suffering from hip pain, it can be the result of a medical condition known as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a medical condition where cartilage breakdown happens near the area of the hips which can cause considerable pain for older adults. As the joints of the hips are affected by the said medical condition, they may become deformed and also become swollen which can make it harder for older adults in terms of movement.
Possible Symptoms of Hip Replacement
One of the initial indications that a person needs hip replacement due to osteoarthritis is when walking becomes difficult. Individuals may experience intense or stabbing pain in the joints which makes it challenging for these individuals to move, walk, or even just to stand for any amount of time. The feeling of being stiff can also happen with pain radiating from the areas of the groin, thigh, buttocks, and knees. While it is true that the reasons behind osteoarthritis are still not that clear, it is believed that people who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of requiring surgery to have the hip replaced. Other variables can also add to the individual’s risk for developing osteoarthritis, such as genetic defects and joint injuries. Ensuring that one maintains his or her ideal weight and modifications in one’s lifestyle can contribute to the reduction of the need for seniors to undergo surgery for hip replacement.
Once older adults start to experience osteoarthritis, they may experience some symptoms of hip replacement such as stiffness of the joints, inability to accomplish their routines using the affected joint, sounds that are clicking or crunching when the joint is moved or exerted, tenderness, swelling, and pain. If the older adult is experiencing the said symptoms, a healthcare professional can also conduct an X-ray to examine the area of the hips and evaluate if the loss of movement is already happening. If osteoarthritis is indeed occurring, the area of the joints may be narrowing and that spurring is also present. This can result in the need for then replacement of the hip to address the pain and allow the patient to have more freedom of movement.
Procedure for Replacement of the Hips
Surgery for hip replacement mainly addresses the hip socket and will commonly have the ball joint replaced. A ball made of metal is inserted in the socket of the hip to aid in the improvement of the range of movement and aid in the prevention of friction that is bone on bone.
With a surgical procedure replacing the hip, an individual may also have contouring of their socket done for a range of motion that is easier using the metal ball inserted in the joint. This can be composed of a liner made of plastic and a shell made of metal to have an area of the hip joint recreated.
How much does this procedure cost?
While it is true that replacement of the hip comes with a significant cost for older adults, it is considered a necessary form of treatment that can provide them with their needed movement and allow them to more easily walk. According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, an insurance company, the cost on average of surgery to have the replacement of the hip is around $39,299.00. A majority of insurance plan does have the cost of this kind of surgery which can aid patients in terms of the financial factor for this surgical procedure. For patients under Medicare, it is expected that they provide cash out of around four thousand dollars ($ 4,000.00) with their insurance and deductibles.
Insurance coverage will commonly cover the procedure itself, X-rays, and assessments. Additional insurance coverage may be availed as with most policies, particularly for recovery time and stays in the hospital. The seniors may need to shell out additional funds to outfit their homes to be able to improve their mobility and movement around the house after the surgical procedure. It can include having to install handrails on the shower and bath and the stairs.
Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery
An older adult may at first be anxious to go back to their daily routine after hip replacement surgery. The time for recovery can be quicker for some as there are older adults who can gain their movement back in as little as 2 days. The majority of patients can recover fully in as little as one month to half a year.
A recovery that is a short term can allow the individual to get out of bed and to start walking on their own for short distances. Medication for pain is slowly taken off during this time which can cover from one month to six weeks. During this period, the individual will transition from walking with assistance to taking strolls roundabout strolls in the block without having to rest and without any sensation of pain.
Initially, older adults are advised to move with precaution right after the surgery as any injury or fall can lead to significant harm for the joint of the hips. Stairs should at first be avoided until the hip has completely healed. Individuals should also constantly use a walking aid during the process of recovery until a medical professional says otherwise. As such, it is ideal that handrails be installed in portions of the house where the older adult will be needing support or moving around.