My mom had 3 hip replacements due to arthritis.
The first was done in 1968. There were only 3 doctors licensed to do a Charnley Total Hip Replacement in the USA at that time so she went to NYC for it and she was in the hospital for about 6 weeks. They told her it would last 15 years. About 5 years later, she had her other hip done by the same doctor, although by then there were local doctors doing the procedure. She was only there for 3-4 weeks. In 1990, the first prosthetic broke and both the prosthetic and the cup had to be replace. That was a week long hospital stay and was done locally.
I’ve lost track of how many hip replacements my mom’s sister has had. Her pelvis is bad, it’s not the implants. So, what’s going on nowadays?
You’ll be walking the day after your surgery. You’ll have staples holding your incision closed. You’ll be hooked up to what my aunt’s young grandson called “A Blastoff Machine”. It’s a blue box on a wheeled stand. It’s got some some buttons and a digital readout behind a locked clear plastic door. There’s also a huge syringe of morphine locked in there also. There’s a tube leading from the box to an IV bag you’ll have running into your arm. And there’s a cord leading to a handgrip with a button on it that’ll be on your bed. The doctor opens the door, sets in the dosage and a time, and locks the door closed. When you feel the pain, you push the button and if the timer allows, you get a small amount of morphine added to your drip. The timer might be for 7 or 10 minutes. You only get a SMALL amount, but it’ll keep the edge off pain, allow you to remain lucid, and there’s no chance of you getting hooked.
My mom’s first 2 times, they’d give her a regular shot. She’d be out of it for 1 hour, awake and pain free for 1.5-2 hours, increasingly aware of pain (especially if she moved her leg) as time went on, and in misery for the last 30-45 minutes until she got her next shot. The blast off machine eliminates that.
My mom (we all called her the bionic woman) later had a knee replacement. She was in MUCH more post-op discomfort from that than her hip procedures. She actually had a physical therapist running from her room in tears.
Look, they’re not going to give you a hip replacement unless you REALLY need one. So, go ahead and have it done. After it’s done and all healed up, you’ll be glad you had it done. As for your other questions (I already did the walking), I don’t know about the driving. In the PT/OT room, they had part of a car body for patients to practice getting in and out of a car. And stairs. You’ll not want to shower until the incision is healed and the staples are out. They might send you home with them still in. And they’ll probably want you to take it easy for a couple of weeks after you’re released. They’ll tell you what walking and how much walking they want you to do.
And they’ll probably recommend you get a booster seat for your toilet and maybe a transfer seat for your shower. A hand sprayer would be a good idea, and you can install one of those before you go in.
MacSpon, I don’t know how active your wife is, but worse case, your wife will probably have 20 years pain free non-limping before a redo is necessary. And 3 weeks of post-op discomfort and 20 good years is, IMO, a great trade versus 20 years and 3 weeks of pain and limping around.