Recently I had a total hip replacement, with a spinal nerve block rather than a general anaesthetic. I was scared out of my wits! Leading up to the operation, my blood pressure was 190/100, I had a slight fever, and I thought there would be no way the doctors were going to go through with it. Yet, they did and I survived.
In a total hip replacement, the damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with prosthetic components. The surgery takes a couple of hours, while the surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and bones, and then positions the new metal, plastic or ceramic implant designed to restore the alignment and function of your hip.
The most challenging part of having my hip replacement was getting out of bed for the first time, which was the same day as the operation. I had to walk to the bathroom myself, assisted by crutches.
My recovery to date has been quite positive. I am grateful to be living in the city of Ballarat where there are so many wonderful services available to me for up to 30 days post-operation. Many of these are also free.
I sometimes find a lot of the over-60s talk negatively about the health system without actually knowing. Having experienced the surgery and the system first-hand, I feel so fortunate to live in Australia; this beautiful country.
I remained in hospital for two nights following the hip replacement surgery. Though my daughter was able to be with me for the first few days of my return home, it was definitely something I was scared about. The success of your surgery is largely dependent on how well you follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery. Naturally, there will be some discomfort with activity, but I expect to resume most normal light activity within a couple of months.
I think I appreciated being able to sleep in my own bed the most. Being able to look outside at nature and my garden has certainly helped keep my spirits high during this recovery period. We can be crippled with fear and still survive the worst, as we perceive it.
People can tell you about their personal experiences or that of others, but nothing really compares to going through something yourself. My tip would be to live in the moment, follow your intuition, and do what is right for you.