What to expect before hip replacement surgery. One travel writer’s journey.
This is the second in a 4-part series that will help you deal with total hip replacement (THR) and travel.
Part 1: Denial to acceptance. Preparing for joint replacement surgery.
Part 2: Preparing for surgery
Part 3: Recovery and travel
Part 4: On the travel road again
Disclaimer: Many people suffer from disabilities – either as a result of acquired disability, accidents, injuries, congenital or other factors. Fortunately, my disability is temporary, yet my experience opened my eyes to inclusive travel and the physical and emotional challenges disabled travelers face. I am fortunate to have the choice of anterior approach hip replacement.
Computer-Assisted Navigation for Orthopedic Surgery
Surgery denied read the letter from my health insurance provider. At first I was livid; then a sense of sadness set in. Would I not receive hip replacement surgery after my months of planning? After speaking with my surgeon’s assistant, I learned that most computer assisted surgery procedures are denied as they are considered experimental or investigational in nature – but necessary in the operating room (OR.) Three days later, I received a second letter from my health insurance provider confirming that my anterior approach hip replacement surgery was approved; the computer assisted navigation would be the least of my worries.
Pre-operation appointments for joint replacement surgery
Unless you have had prior surgeries, you may not be aware of the necessary medical steps needed prior to joint replacement surgery. My surgeon requested the following tests pre-surgery:
Electrocardiogram (EKG) a painless test that records the heart’s electrical activity
What to expect pre-surgery
John Muir Medical Center, Concord offered a pre-surgery appointment to review my medical prescriptions and to give me an opportunity to ask the nurse some questions regarding hip replacement surgery and travel. As a professional travel writer, I knew that I would not be able to travel by airplane for six weeks. It was also suggested to avoid long car rides, but if necessary, remember to stop frequently and get out of the car to avoid blood clots.
Hip replacement and travel
Is it safe to travel, perhaps internationally, prior to hip replacement surgery? According to my surgeon and the nurse, it is safe to travel pre-surgery.
I specialize in luxury and equestrian travel. Is it okay to go horseback riding before joint replacement surgery? Both doctor and nurse agreed that the risk of injury prior to surgery is not worth the reward. I would be able to squeeze in one more luxury lodging review prior to surgery, but horseback riding in Puerto Vallarta would have to wait.
Is it safe to consume alcohol prior to hip replacement surgery? While it is safe to drink alcohol days before surgery, it is very important that you follow the directions of the surgeon 24 hours before surgery. In my case, as I would be on blood thinners post-surgery, it was important not to take pain relievers such as Tylenol pre-surgery. I also had to shower the night prior using special anti-bacterial wipes to prevent staph infections on my skin.
Have you experienced joint replacement surgery? What recommendations do you have for those preparing for hip or knee replacement surgery?