Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip ReplacmentIn the US you can expect to pay anything between 30,000 and 50,000 for total hip replacement. In some cases it can be even more. The average cost of the hip replacement in countries like Columbia, Costa Rica, Belgium, Mexico and India (to name but a few) varies between $7,000 and $ 15,000.

Hip replacement surgery involves replacing a damaged or unhealthy hip joint with an artificial one. It is one of the most turned to orthopedic surgical solutions in the case of a hip joint that is severely damaged by arthritis. Approximately 200,000 of hip replacements are done in the United States annually and that figure continues to rise.

Patients can expect to stay in hospital for up to a week after surgery. If you are travelling abroad it is recommended that you stay in the area of your hospital for up to twelve days after hip surgery.

Patients should be able to resume most normal activities within three to six weeks following surgery. Pain with activity is common for several weeks. As always exercise and physiotherapy is required and a healthy diet also. If all goes well patients can even drive on their own about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Like a lot of medical tourism there are lots of success stories online regarding hip replacements abroad,

Like a lot of medical tourism there are lots of success stories online regarding hip replacements abroad.  The following story from the New York Times is a typical case study:

Michael Shopenn, 67, is an architectural photographer who suffered immense pain due to arthritis. So much so he could barely walk. When he priced having his hip replacement in the US he was astounded with the prospect of having to pay up $78,000. He decided to go to Brussels in 2007, opting not to choose surgery in developing country. He had his operation at a private hospital outside Brussels for $13,660. That price included not just his artificial joint, but also all doctors’ fees, operating room charges, crutches, medicine, a hospital room for five days, a week in rehab and a round-trip ticket from America. He has called himself “the poster child” for spreading the knowledge just because the USA has some of the most expensive healthcare in the world, it is not necessarily the best.

All medical tourism carries the same risks but we cannot stress them enough. There are many success stories about hip replacements abroad. There are also many success stories about hip replacements here in the USA. But no matter where you are in the world complications can always arise during and after a major surgery, like hip replacement and you should always be prepared to accept that if it happens to you. Know your surgical team and after care professionals. Know exactly what after care is available and what happens when you get home if something isn’t right. Be 100% sure you are ready to fly, clotting is serious after hip and knee replacements during long haul flights.

The following video from Pre Op Orthopedic describes Hip Replacement Surgery

There is an excellent discussion on Reddit about medical tourism from which we took the following quote:

“The average hip replacement in the USA costs $40,364. In Spain, it costs $7,371. That means I can literally fly to Spain, live in Madrid for 2 years, learn Spanish, run with the bulls, get trampled, get my hip replaced again, and fly home for less than the cost of a hip replacement in the US.”

Read the full discussion here.


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