Total Hip Replacement: A Personal Perspective

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This is an account of my total hip replacement and, to some extent, a guide to hip replacements in general. It does not purport to be an all-encompassing reference work. Call me lazy, but I felt that the time required to complete the necessary research and broaden the perspectives of this opus would delay its publication. Furthermore, there are many good books on the subject already in print. In Chapter II, I shall describe three of them that were quite helpful to me. This early effort of mine might be viewed either as a completed work or as a stepping-stone to a larger, more complete reference to be published later.

Getting back to why we are here, I began to write the book a little more than two weeks after having undergone total hip replacement surgery. By sharing my experiences with you, presumably another total hip replacement candidate, it is my hope that I can improve the outcome for you in some small way. While some patients will place blind faith in their medical practitioners, letting themselves be marched through the experience from beginning to end without active involvement in the many decisions, it is the informed and involved patient who will derive the most benefit from reading this and the other books I will recommend. Based on my experiences and those of other authors, you will choose the best surgeon and hospital for you, you will form a partnership with the surgeon in setting a proper course for your hip replacement and recovery, and you will be able to proceed more confidently through the entire process. Knowledge is power. I urge you to set sufficient time aside for mental and physical preparation.

I mentioned earlier that this book would be based on my experiences rather than being a broad compendium of knowledge on the general subject of hip replacement surgery. Accordingly, it is necessary for you to understand my circumstances in order to evaluate the use of this book as a guide for your own hip replacement. I am a 54-year-old overweight male in generally good health who lives alone. My hip degeneration was caused by osteoarthritis (OA), which eventually caused the destruction of most of the cartilage in the joint. I am self-employed as a consultant in the computer field. I enjoy golf, hiking, nature photography, reading, writing, walking, attending sports events, and playing with my house and garden. To be accurate and honest, perhaps I should refer to some of these activities in the past tense because I have not derived much enjoyment from them for quite a while. However, it is my hope that I will soon be able to enjoy these activities painlessly! While I cannot predict that all of the information I present in this book will help others in different circumstances, I am certain there will be revelations applicable to everybody.

In Chapter I, I discuss events leading up to the decision for hip replacement, including early, more conservative treatments. In Chapter II I take the unusual step of recommending three books by other authors, which provide a more complete background on various medical and technical aspects of total hip replacement. Chapter III leads you through the process of selecting a surgeon, borrowing heavily from my personal experiences. Your choice of a surgeon will be one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your hip replacement operation. In Chapter IV, I discuss things you can do to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the surgery and things you can do to make your house more amenable to your return in a somewhat compromised state. Then, in Chapters V through VII, I take you through my surgical experience and my recovery period while still in the hospital. Chapter VIII describes my brief time in an in-patient rehabilitation facility. In Chapter IX, I come home and gradually resume my daily life, while doing physical therapy with a home visitor. I provide tips on how to deal with many common situations at home. Chapter X describes my successful follow-up visits with my surgeon and my rehab physician.

Please enjoy the fruits of my labor and point others to my site if you feel it is worthy of their attention. And feel free to contact me personally at if you have any comments or corrections. I profess no expertise in this subject, but having been through the experience, I might be able to share some information that will be helpful to you. I welcome your comments.


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