Hip, hip for home care!

A new study finds that patients who undergo hip surgeries have higher survival rates when they get homecare after the procedure.

In fact, Canadian researchers say seniors who receive homecare after a partial hip surgery were 43 percent less likely to die that than those who didn't. But even in Canada--considered by many here in the U.S. to be something of a healthcare paradise--less than 16 percent of all patients who were sent home managed to get that homecare.

Even worse, nearly a third of all patients were sent home with no follow-up plan in place at all.

Looks like paradise is overrated.

The researchers looked at data on 11,326 Quebec seniors who needed emergency hip replacements due to a fall between 1997 and 2004. They found that those lucky enough to get homecare tended to be younger, female, spent more than a week in the hospital and were more likely to suffer from either acute kidney failure or atrial fibrillation.

But the real difference maker appears to be having someone else at home who can help--and for seniors, that someone often isn't a spouse, because they're often battling health problems of their own.

So while homecare may be something seniors need to fight their insurance companies to get, this new study shows that it's definitely worth fighting for.

And that's not the only issue facing seniors who undergo joint replacement procedures. Another new study finds that 10 percent of all seniors who get new hips or knees battle chronic pain in the following years.

Not exactly what you hope for from a new joint--too bad those things don't come with warranties.

Then again, a replacement for your replacement might only make matters worse--because the analysis presented at a recent American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine meeting found that 25 percent of those who need reoperations suffer from persistent pain two to five years later.

Just one more reason to make sure you do all your homework before an operation--on both the procedure itself... and the doctor performing it.

It could make a world of difference--or lead to a world of hurt.