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What is an Operative Permit?

You will be asked to sign a permission form to allow us to perform the surgery. It is important that you read and understand it. It is a legal form that must be complete before surgery can be performed. The form will state that you have a condition of the hip, such as arthritis and that a total hip replacement is to be performed. It may request your permission for photographs. We occasionally photograph the hip at the time of surgery
for teaching purposes.

Some surgery risks are listed which you should be aware of:

  • Whenever anesthesia is given, there is always risk; however, today with extensive monitoring and improved drugs and techniques, problems associated with anesthetics are greatly reduced.
  • Infection is a risk associated with any surgery and in the case of hip replacement, it occurs in about 1 in 150 to 200 cases or 0.050%. We take every possible precaution to prevent infeccion including the use of antibiotics, before, during and after surgery. In certain circumstances, we use special devices including “space suits” worn by the surgical team and/or special airflow systems to prevent our our germs from entering the wound. If an infection occurs, it can be successfully treated by cleaning the wound and giving appropriate antibiotics in the majority of cases. On very rare occasions, it is necessary to remove the prosthesis.
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage may occur during surgery. These structures are very near the hip and although damage is rare, there is the slight possibility this may occur. We take every precaution to protect these structures.
  • Mechanical failure may occur including dislocation of the ball from the socket, breakage of one of the artificial parts, or loosening of a component from bone or cement.
  • Occasionally blood clots may form in the legs. Rarely, if they are severe, blood clots can move to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). We use oral or injectable medicacions, special stockings, and rapid mobilization of the patient to minimize this risk. Blood clots can be a complication of any surgical procedure.
  • Restoring your legs to equal length is always our goal, but stability of your hip is most important. We measure your leg length before your surgery and evaluate your x-rays. We again measure your leg during surgery. All attempts are made to balance your hips.
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