Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of doing a hip replacement using the anterior approach or ASI?

  • Truly minimally invasive
  • No muscle or tendons are cut
  • Much more accurate with leg length (legs should be equal)
  • Minimal to no hip precautions Sleep in almost any position
  • Quicker recovery
  • All implant position and sizing are verified with fluoroscopy
  • Why should Dr. Stolarski do my hip or knee replacement?

  • National and international physician educator of total hip replacement utilizing the anterior approach
  • Performed over 2000 total hips using this approach
  • ACGME fellowship training in all aspects of hip and knee replacement and revision surgery
  • Vast experience dealing with all complications regarding hip and knee replacement
  • How long does a hip replacement last?

    The goal is 20 years or longer. This depends on many factors such as bearing surface, patient’s weight and activities.

    How long does a knee replacement last?

    The goal is 15 to 20 years based on weight and the type activities performed.

    Does Dr. Stolarski make a front incision for a hip replacement?

    Yes, Dr. Stolarski does use the anterior approach; in fact he is a pioneer and physician educator for this type of procedure.

    How big is the incision for the anterior approach hip replacement?

    It will be about three to four inches in length or as long as necessary for safe placement of implants.

    Do the muscles have to be cut before the site can be entered?

    No muscles or tendon are cut at all.

    Does Dr. Stolarski do only hip and knee surgery?

    He is trained in all orthopedic surgery but he is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and specializes in hip and knee replacements and complex revisions.

    How long is the recovery time for a hip replacement?

    Recovery means different things to different people.  Many people go home the next day. Have therapy in their home for a couple weeks then may participate in outpatient therapy.  Most people are off their cane at 2-4 weeks.

    How long is the recovery time for a knee replacement?

    A Total knee replacement takes longer to recover because of the need to be aggressive to get the best range of motion.  Therapy is often for 6 weeks.

    How long will I be in the hospital?

    That depends on many factors.  A healthy person with no major medical problems usually go home the next day if they do well with physical therapy.  You should be in the hospital no longer than three days.

    How long is physical therapy and how many times a week?

    Physical therapy is usually 2-5 days a week for 4-6 weeks or as long as needed for an excellent outcome.

    When can I start playing sports again?

    Six weeks for low impact sports such as golf and twelve weeks for high impact sports such as tennis. But only return to these activities if everything feels good.

    When can I return to work?

    This depends on many factors such as type of surgery and the physical demands of the surgery.  We have sent people back to work in a week and others have taken much longer.

    When can I start driving again?

    Two to three weeks as long as you are no longer using a walker or taking narcotic pain medication and feel safe.

    What about the bearing surface? (what rubs on what)

    The bearing surface is individualized for each patient depending on many variables.  It is a decision the patient and doctor make together.  Options include metal on plastic, ceramic on plastic, ceramic on ceramic and metal on metal

    When there is a defect in the bone or inadequate bone in the hip what is used to fix it?

    Dr. Stolarski uses a bone graft from the head.

    Why do some people have one leg that is shorter than the other after they have a hip replacement?

    One of the benefits of the anterior approach is that leg length can be optimized during the surgery.  The bottom line though is that if the leg being operated is shorter it should be able to be made equal, if the legs are equal or the leg having surgery is longer, it may be longer after your replacement.  The joint has to be brought back to the level it was before the arthritis took away the cartilage.

    Can the problem of one leg being shorter than the other be prevented?

    The anterior approach provides more stability than other approaches therefore your legs have the best chance of being equal.  There is no guess work with leg lengths with this approach.

    Can I use running as a type of exercise?

    Long distance running such as marathons will wear a total joint out faster than more reasonable forms of exercise.  Gentle jogging, swimming biking and other lower impact exercises are best.

    How long will it be before I no longer require help at home?

    The main hindrance is driving.  Two to three weeks is fine. If you do not have the means necessary for this then inpatient rehab could be an option for you.

    When is it safe to fly on a plane?

    It is preferred you don’t fly for two weeks so we can keep an eye on your incision.

    Do I have to take an antibiotic for teeth cleaning?

    Yes all forms of total joint replacements should take antibiotics prior to dental procedures.  This helps prevent bacteria getting to your joint.  The current recommendations are lifetime.

    When can I sleep on my side with a new hip?

    The anterior approach allows for a patient to sleep on their side when they are comfortable.

    If I suffer from bursitis will the bursa be removed during surgery?

    No.  Bursitis is a separate issue and is not a reason to have a total joint replaced.

    When can I cross my legs at the ankles?

    This can be done immediately after surgery but at the ankles only.

    When standing in one place for a long time is it normal for the surgical side to become tired and sore?

    Yes it does take time to heal, but it should resolve.

    When will numbness disappear?

    A small percentage of anterior total hips will have a numb patch over their lateral thigh.  It is usually temporary and not painful.  Most resolve over the first year.

    When moving from a sitting to standing position why is the surgical side “stiff” until it is walked out a little bit?

    Surgical inflammation and swelling causes this feeling and will subside with time.

    How long do I have to be on a blood thinner and what type do I use?

    For a hip replacement you will be giving yourself a Lovenox injection for 4 weeks unless otherwise specified followed by two weeks of Aspirin (325 mg).For knee replacements you will be on two weeks of Lovenox injections followed by four weeks of aspirin(325 mg).

    If I have a hip replacement can I bend over to tie my shoes?

    If you have an anterior approach hip replacement it is ok to bend over but if you have a revision or posterior approach please do not bend past ninety degrees and follow the other hip precautions.

    If I have a knee replacement can I kneel on my new knee?

    Most people can eventually kneel.  The incision has to be completely healed and you must have good range of motion.  A small percentage of people are never comfortable kneeling.