question about anesthetic during hip replacement...

Vicki_ILJune 9, 2007

Hi all -

I'm having a total hip replacement in August and went to my JointWorks session the other day. Found out that I can either have general anethesia or spinal with/without sedation. Apparently the spinal is supposedly better in preventing blood clots, nausea, etc. and the numbing effect lasts for about 6 hours. Has anyone had any experience with this or know anyone who has?



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I have had both. General anethesia leaves you a bit grougy and has rick of nausua. The spinal is great if you dont mind being completely awake during surgery. You will feel movement and it may take awile for the spinal to wear off. Mine lasted several hours after. I prefer to not be awake. Surgery freaks me out!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 12:48PM
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As I understand it, and I may be wrong, the main drawback with a spinal is the chance of terrific headaches if you don't lie flat for a certain length of time.

I just don't like the idea of anyone messing around with my spinal cord. I think I would prefer the General and take a chance on nausea.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 1:29PM
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I had a spinal type thing done with a c-section (cannot remember what it's called). I'm with you Agnes, I don't like anyone messing with my spinal cord! But I had no choice. I had no after-effects except the one that lasted 18 years (joke--lol)and a little discomfort in my lower back for a while afterwards, maybe an hour. I did lie flat for several hours, because I'd heard about the headache possibility. Wasn't too interested in getting up anyway!

I would be interested in hearing from anyone here who has had a general anaesthetic, what it was like and the after-effects.

Vicki, best wishes for a successful surgery. Hope that hip works like new!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:45PM
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I think a lot depends on the skill of the anesthesiologist. I had a long, involved surgery that lasted almost seven hours. There was no nausea afterwards. However, I had a short surgery with a nurse anesthesist who happened to be in training, I was throwing up for hours. She had a regular anesthesiologist standing by instructing her, but I just don't think she had the "touch" yet for getting just the right amount.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 6:26AM
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Vicki, when I had hip replacement a few years ago, I wasn't given a choice in anesthetic. The anesthesiologist said he didn't like the spinal type due to the positioning required of the patient by the surgeon during the procedure.

That was totally fine with me, I just wanted to wake up, be done, start healing. No nausea and I ate lightly the same evening.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Don't know if this info will help, but asked a friend who is an orthopedic OR nurse about which type of surgery is preferred by docs for hip replacement.

Her answer was that the usual is general anesthesia because as another poster said, the position required for surgery.

In her 15 years in the OR with orthopedic surgeons, she's only seen spinal used twice and that was do to the other medical problems that the patient had and their was a safety issue in using general.
The surgery can take longer with spinal anesthesia and they do use sedation as well, and in most cases your are sort of sleeping anyways from the sedation.

I had spinal surgery a year ago. Surgery was about 2 1/2 hours and I had general. I made sure that the anesthesiologist knew that I was very sensitive to drugs and that I don't want to be knocked out from general till the next day, which has happened to me before.
I don't know what they used for the anesthesia, but I was groggily awake about 15 minutes after I was brought into the recovery room, propped up sitting within 45 minutes, never had any nausea, was out of bed about 3 hours after surgery, ate a turkey sandwich, coffee and a salad about 5 hours after and went home 6 hours after I was brought to a room.
Never had any nausea or anything else at home either.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 12:02AM
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Littleone, what a trooper you are! Nice recovery! I hope all goes as well for Vicki.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 4:06PM
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I had general anaesthesia for leg surgery last week. I did have some nausea, but not intolerable, and it was gone the next day. I'm glad I had general in spite of some nausea.

As for the blood clot threat, I was given medication and for about a day and a half wore inflatable boots that simulate walking which helps deter clots. As soon as I was walking, the boots came off.

Vicki, you can email me if you have any other questions about my experience. You are wise to collect as much information as you can so you don't have any surprises.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:00PM
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Elias Rufus

Socks, I agree with you on this one. General anesthesia can be a much easier recovery than a full spinal. With any procedure, a blood clot can be a risk. The key is to stay on top of your rehabilitation. Vicki, generally a physical therapy team will work closely with an orthopedic surgeon. They can monitor your progress daily if you are concerned about clotting. I would, non professionally of course, recommend trying the least invasive practice that you are comfortable enduring. After my 4 surgeries, I personally prefer being under. I've found the recovery to not be much of a trouble, but I have a generally high pain tolerance.

    Bookmark   on Monday at 6:32PM
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I had Total Hp Replacement last August. I had a general anesthesia with no problems after. Sometimes with Spinal they can gve a mild general anesthsia at any time if they feel it is necessary. Good luck to you. Also, take advantage of PT following if you can.

    Bookmark   10 hours ago
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