Last year I had a left total hip replacement. I'm finally feeling better and getting back to my old activities. Why don't they warn patients about how much pain and loss of function occurs with this operation?

Predicting results after any surgery is a little like having a baby. Everyone has a different experience. What happens to one patient doesn't happen to everyone. Doctors and other health care workers don't want patients to worry by giving them warnings and predictions that might not come true.

Even so, you make a good point and one that's backed up by a recent study. Researchers in England report a shorter hospital stay, less cost, and greater satisfaction in patients who received advice before their total hip replacement.