Hip replacement is one of the most reliable surgical procedures in the world, in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. It can be performed as a total replacement or a semi (half) replacement, and carries a 97% positive outcome rate. The procedure is usually performed in order to relieve arthritis pain or fix severe physical joint damage as a part of the hip fracture treatment. A total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty) is performed by replacing both the acetabulum and the femoral head. In the case of hemiarthroplasty the femoral head is usually the only thing replaced.
Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement is usually used to treat joint failure caused by osteoarthritis, and is usually performed on patients whose hip has been so damaged that pain limits the patients daily activities. Further reasons to undergo total hip replacement include rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, traumatic arthritis, protrusio acetabuli, certain hip fractures, benign and malignant bone tumors, arthritis associated with Paget's disease, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The procedure is aimed at relieving the pain and improving the hip function. Though highly successful, the operation is only considered once other options such as physical therapy and pain medications have failed. There is a slight chance (2%) of joint infection after hip surgery, with other complications such as heart attack and stroke being even rarer.
After an initial evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon, medical history and X-ray recording, and a slew of other possible test such as MRI, the doctor will create a list of preparations for the surgery, if it is judged that hip replacement is the right step of the patient. In this case, other steps such as blood tests and a weight loss regime might be taken to prepare for surgery. The patient might need to stay in the hospital a couple of days after surgery. Specialized gear such as shower handrails, stair handrails, a cushion and reachers should be purchased to aid recovery. It is highly recommended to search for a surgeon with experience performing hip replacements, and is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
Hip replacement pricing
Total hip replacement most commonly costs between $31,839 and $44,816 for patients without health insurance. According to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the average cost is $39,299 but certain medical facilities offer uninsured discounts. At the Kapiolani Medical Center in Aiea, Hawaii, an uninsured patient would pay a discounted rate of $20,212 to $23,581, where the price is normally around $33,000. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers an overview of hip replacement surgery.
According to DePuy Orthopedics, a major manufacturer of orthopedic devices, hip replacement surgery is commonly covered by health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas claim that any surgery deemed necessary, including hip replacement, is covered unless it is experimental or covered in a specific exclusion.
Patients with health insurance typically either pay out-of-pocket expenses that range up to several thousand dollars, or their out-of-pocket maximum. At Dartmought-Hitchcock Medical Center, a Medicare patient could pay up to$3,957, but a patient with health insurance that has typical 20 percent co-pay for surgeries and a $3,000 out-of-pocket maximum would pay the full $3,000 at DHMC.