The need for hip replacement surgery arises when some sort of damage is incurred to the hip joint. Typically this happens when the cartilage around the hip joint wears off and bone starts to grind on bone. The effect of this can be very painful with restricted hip movement.
Often, in older patients, the damage is heightened due to the bones becoming fragile and brittle and the onset of osteoarthritis. For some others, cartilage deterioration may have been caused by an injury of some sort. Symptoms like pain and stiffness in the joints can be an indicator of cartilage damage in the hip region. Plus inflammation in the area probably means that the individual should get a medical check-up to determine the extent of the damage.
Why Patients Require Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery aims at correcting this issue by relieving the associated pain and promoting smooth movement. The disability that patients feel due to difficulty in performing everyday tasks can be eliminated by having a hip replacement surgery.
The surgical procedure involved in replacing the hip joint with a prosthetic device can be an expensive one for patients. Within the private health sector, the operation may be the most expensive of its kind. And to have a hip replacement surgery, many Australians often turn to private health insurance to cover the costs and keep waiting times shorter.
According to statistics there were no less than 16,600 hip replacement surgeries carried out in 2012-13 in Australia, the cost of which were funded with assistance from private health insurers. The figure shows a 19% rise from the previous year’s results. Benefits paid for these procedures in 2012- 13 went up to $414 million from an amount of $341 million from the previous year.
The Cost Of Hip Replacement Surgery
Average costs for a hip replacement surgery can range anywhere from $22,000 to $25,000 with up to around $800 and above incurred as out of pocket costs. There are also further recurrent associated costs that are incurred after the surgery in the form of radiographic check-ups.
Medicare will cover some of the associated costs but the gap will need to be paid by the patient. Without private health insurance this can be very hard for some patients. The cost of the operation will also vary depending on the type of surgery involved; whether the procedure is a primary surgery alone, or one with an implant and if any further revisions are needed.
Government costs involved in hip replacement primary surgery with severe complications can start from as low as $13,648 and go up to $16,744 for cases that have primary surgery with severe complications and revision. For a surgical procedure involving revision and severe complications the cost incurred can total $30,640.
Total costs will include the surgeon’s fee, the assistant’s fee, and the anaesthetist’ service charges, and private insurance will cover hospital stay, theatre fees, prosthetics and implants. For patients without private insurance Medicare will cover partial service fees while other costs will be incurred as out of pocket expenses.
Hip replacement surgery is now widely practiced and success rates are high as it is an established procedure.
1. What Is A Total Hip Replacement?: http://healthtopics.hcf.com.au/TotalHipReplacement.aspx
2. The growing cost of hip and knee replacements: http://www.hica.com.au/health-insurance-news/the-growing-cost-of-hip-and-knee-replacements
3. Replacing hips younger and having caesareans older: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/438734/replacing-hips-younger-and-having-caesareans-older/
4. ACE Prevention Briefing Paper- Hip and knee replacement for osteoarthritis: http://www.sph.uq.edu.au/docs/BODCE/ACE-P/ACE-P_briefing_Hip_Knee.pdf