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Core decompression

Overview

Core decompression can spark regeneration of the bone. In this procedure, the surgeon drills out the damaged section of bone up to the head of the femur. This opens up channels for blood vessels to reach the diseased area and foster the production of new bone. Hip pain is relieved, and as many as 75% of patients avoid joint replacement later on.

Conditions it treats

Early stages of avascular necrosis

Questions to ask about this treatment

Here are some questions that may be helpful to ask your doctor when considering hip surgery. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your hip pain to share with your doctor at the same time.

  • Do I need to have surgery? If so, do I need it immediately?
  • What would happen if I wait six months? One year?
  • If I need surgery, what complications may occur with this kind of surgery?
  • How many surgeries of this type have you done?
  • What is the expected recovery time from surgery?
  • How many days will I be in the hospital after surgery?
  • Will I have physical therapy? If so, how often and for how long?
  • Will I need full-time or part-time care? If so, for how long?
  • How soon will I be able to resume normal lifestyle activities besides walking (e.g., work, sports, housework, gardening, etc.)?
  • Am I a candidate for minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?

Preparing your home

A little time spent getting your home ready before your surgery can make a big difference in your recovery. Here are some helpful hints for around the house.

House in general

  • Remove throw rugs and tack down loose carpeting
  • Remove electrical cords, telephone cords, toys, and other tripping hazards
  • Fix or be aware of uneven flooring and surfaces
  • Provide good lighting
  • Cover slippery surfaces with carpets that have nonskid backs
  • Place regularly used items such as remote controls, medications, and reading materials in convenient and easy-to-reach locations
  • If your mail is delivered to an outdoor box, contact your post office to request delivery to your door

Kitchen

  • Stock up on canned and frozen foods
  • Prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them
  • Store food in a cupboard that’s waist to shoulder level
  • Place frequently used cooking supplies, pots, pans, plates, and utensils on the counter or where they can be easily reached

Bathroom

  • Stock up on toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, medications, and other personal items
  • If your shower has doors, replace them temporarily with a curtain
  • Put a chair in your shower
  • Get a handheld shower head
  • Get a raised toilet seat
  • Get a shower sponge with a long handle
  • Put handrails in the shower and next to the toilet
  • Place a slip-proof mat in the shower
  • Install a nightlight

Bedroom

  • Set up your bed on the first floor if you can
  • Wash all your towels, linens, and dirty clothes
  • Place loose clothing and pajamas in waist- to shoulder-level drawers or closets
  • Install a nightlight

Other

  • Make sure you have easy access to a phone. Consider using a cordless or cell phone
  • Reachers and grabbers will come in handy
  • A desk chair with wheels can make it easier to get around
  • To keep your hands free to use for balance, consider using a walker basket, fanny pack, small backpack, or an apron with large pockets to hold things you’ll want nearby
  • Rent/buy/borrow plenty of books, movies, music, and puzzle books

What to ask before beginning treatment

Here’s a list of questions that may be helpful to ask your doctor before your hip surgery.

  • What complications may occur with this kind of surgery?
  • What is the expected recovery time?
  • How many days will I be in the hospital after surgery?
  • Will I have physical therapy? If so, how often and for how long?
  • Will I need full-time or part-time care? If so, for how long?
  • Will I need a hospital bed at home?
  • When can I lie on the operative side?
  • How soon will I be able to walk after surgery?
  • Will I need crutches or a walker? If so, for how long?
  • How soon will I be able to climb stairs after surgery?
  • How soon will I be able to drive a car after surgery?
  • When can I shower after surgery?
  • How soon will I be able to resume normal lifestyle activities besides walking (e.g., work, sports, housework, gardening, etc.)?
  • Which sports may I participate in?
  • What are lifting limits?
  • When is sexual intercourse feasible after surgery?
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