Vital to your speedy recovery is to stay physically active before surgery, as this will strengthen your hip muscles. In the weeks and months before your operation, if possible, do take gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming. Our physiotherapist can help you with the exercise programme that's best suited for you.
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Priorities include making a diagnosis for your pain, discussing treatment options, and if necessary, assessing your fitness for surgery. When Mr Lawrence assesses your fitness for surgery, please mention any previous illnesses such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, previous operations, any complications with previous surgery that you may have experienced, or problems related to your waterworks. If you wish, you can always bring a relative or a friend to the consultation.
After the examination, x-rays will be obtained and you will be seen again 15 minutes later.
When you return, Mr Lawrence will explain the x-ray findings to you and tell you what the diagnosis is. Additional investigation may be required, including blood tests, MRI scans, CT scans, bone scans etc.
Once the diagnosis has been made, Mr Lawrence will discuss treatment options such painkillers, physiotherapy, hip injections, keyhole surgery and hip replacement surgery. Together, you will decide on a plan. Please discuss the issues further with your relatives and friends and don't hesitate to come back for a second or even third consultation if needed.
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MAKING THE DECISION
One of the most frequent questions that our patients ask is: "Should I have a hip replacement?" The final decision is for you to make as you weigh up the benefits of long-term pain-relief and improved mobility, against the possible, however small, risks that all surgery tends to entail.
A period of 2 weeks is normally required between the time you inform us of your intentions and the date of the operation.
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At your pre-op assessment, you will undergo routine heart tracing and blood tests. Your blood type will also be cross-matched. In addition, skin and nose swabs will be taken to ensure that you are not a carrier of the MRSA bug.
Our physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nursing staff will inform you about the upcoming surgery. Please remember to mention any special requirements that you may have. The staff will also advise you about minor changes to your setup at home in order to facilitate your speedy recovery. Arrangements will be made for you to have a chair at the right height at home. You will be given a raised toilet seat, and your bed may also have to be raised slightly.
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Prior to your surgery avoid activities that could result in cuts or abrasions of the skin. Open wounds can become infected and could result in the surgery being cancelled. If your skin is dry or flaky please make sure to use the skin moisturiser.
If you happen to be a smoker it is strongly advised you quit. Tobacco smoke contains toxins that are damaging to the lungs and increase the risk of chest infections. Nicotine inhibits the immune system making infections more likely. Nicotine also inhibits the post-operation healing process.