5 questions to ask Indianapolis orthopedic surgeons on hip replacements
A prosthetic hip improves life for patients suffering from arthritis, bone disease or injuries.
“It’s one of the most successful surgeries, in terms of the cost for restoring quality of life, reducing pain, increasing mobility, and the surgery’s safety and durability,” says highly rated Dr. Eric Monesmith, who operates at Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital in Indianapolis. Once healed, patients can do almost any activity they wish, says Dr. Wes Lackey at highly rated Center for Knee and Hip Surgery in Mooresville. To get the best results, find a well-trained orthopedic surgeon and ask these five questions.
1. How long is recovery?
Most people are in the hospital two days, use a walker or cane for several weeks and resume daily activities within six to eight weeks, Monesmith says. “Recovery is different for every patient, depending on their age, fitness and preoperative activity level,” Lackey says. Healthy patients require no physical therapy.
2. What are the risks?
While no surgery is without risks, hip replacement complications are rare, Lackey says. “The game-changers are infection and blood clots,” he says. Monesmith says a slight discrepancy in leg length and dislocation shortly after surgery are also concerns. “With improvements in technology and techniques, we’ve really been able to reduce these risks.”
3. How long will my new hip last?
Lackey says more than 95 percent of patients enjoy their new hip for 20 years. “Improved materials have dramatically improved the longevity of implant components,” he says of the ceramic- or metal-on-polyethylene plastic implants, which Monesmith also uses. “It will probably last 25 or 30 years,” Monesmith says.
4. What are your qualifications?
Doctors utilize various surgical approaches, so it’s important to verify they have ample experience in whichever technique they prefer. Monesmith recommends finding a surgeon who gained extra training during a fellowship. “Patients should focus on picking the right surgeon, not technique or type of implant,” Lackey says.
5. How much does it cost?
“If they have insurance, it’s going to depend on the patient’s deductible and co-pay,” Monesmith says. “If a patient is paying 100 percent of the tab, it’s going to be between $25,000 and $50,000.” Lackey recommends patients contact their health insurance provider to find out how much of the cost their specific plan covers.
For more information, please visit the Angie's List Guide to Orthopedics.