Hip replacement surgery sounds like a scary procedure to go through. It is a major operation as many patients prefer to postpone the surgery for different reasons, including not wanting to go through with it due to its fairly long recovery process or due to the severity of the operation; in fact, patients will agree to tolerate the pain and discomfort for long periods, instead of just scheduling a surgical procedure to improve their quality of life and return to the way they used to live.
When ones hip joint wears down, the hip bone and cartilage start rubbing directly against each other which causes pain and limited movement. At the beginning, symptoms may not be as severe, and pain medication or physiotherapy can help, it is when these solutions no longer relieve symptoms that a problem begins. This process begins due to arthritis, rheumatism, a bone fracture or just time taking its toll. The main reason for hip joint problems remains Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. This disease causes the cartilage covering the bones to stiffen which then leads to it cartilage wearing away.
The pain or restricted movement can suddenly limit you from going through your daily routine at the same pace and efficiency as before. At this point you should start discussing the option of having hip replacement surgery. You do not want to wait and let the symptoms reach the point when you are barley functioning at all, in addition to the fact that postponing a prognosis may affect the option of going through partial hip replacement instead of a total hip replacement surgery.
There are two types of hip replacement surgery: total and partial hip replacement, also known as Hip Resurfacing. A 'Hip Resurfacing' procedure is usually meant for younger patients with less severe pain, as only the femur head (the highest part of the thigh bone) will be reshaped in order to accept a metal cap with small guide stem which is set into the pelvis. In a total hip replacement, not only the femur head is replaced, but the whole joint of the hip (femur head and neck) and the femoral canal is reamed out. Early decision to go through the surgery can be the difference.
After deciding on having the surgery, another reason to postpone total or partial hip replacement is of course the cost of this procedure. Without the right type of health insurance coverage, this surgery can cost patients up to 50,000$, not an easy sum to come by. Patients without these means may be postponing surgery for lack of any other option available while forced to deal with the pain and the inability to function properly.
Patients who have run in to a "financial wall" must seek other options, including options such as "Charity Care" and going through this surgery abroad. The second option of 'medical tourism' is becoming more and more popular as prices of total or partial hip replacement are substantially lower abroad.