Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip Replacement Surgery, also called Total Hip Arthroplasty, is a procedure in which the damaged sections of the hip joint are removed and replaced with parts usually constructed with metal, ceramic and very hard plastic, and this artificial joint is called prosthesis. The prosthesis improves function and helps reduce pain. Hip Replacement Surgery is done only when the pain interferes with daily activities and the more conservative treatment procedures haven’t helped or are no longer effective. Arthritis is the most common reason that requires this treatment procedure.

Why it’s done

Some conditions which lead to the damage of the Hip joints requiring replacement Surgery are:

  • Osteoarthritis. Commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis damages the cartilage that covers the ends of bones and helps joints move smoothly.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – An overactive immune system may lead to rheumatoid arthritis that can cause inflammation. This can erode cartilage and sometimes the underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed joints
  • Osteonecrosis – This happens when there is not enough blood supply to the hip joint ball, which may lead to its deformity or collapse

Hip Pain requiring replacement Surgery are:

  • Persisting Hip pain with no relief even after taking medicine
  • Worsens while walking
  • Disrupts your sleep
  • Affects the ability to go up or down the stairs
  • Experiencing excruciating pain while standing up from a seated position

Hip Replacement Surgery procedure

Hip replacement surgery can be done traditionally or by minimally-invasive technique. The difference between the two techniques is the size of the incision where the traditional technique requires a cut of 8 to 10 inch along the side of the hip whereas in the invasive approach, doctors make one to two cuts from 2 to 5 inches long. The minimally invasive technique is more prevalent today as there is less blood loss, less pain, short hospital stay, small scar, and quick recovery.

However, it is very important for the surgeon following this technique to be highly skilled or the results may be worse than with standard hip replacement surgery.

Care after Hip Replacement Surgery

Some common complications post a Hip Replacement Surgery are:

  • Infection and bleeding
  • Your legs may not be of equal length post the surgery
  • Crossing your legs or sitting too low may cause the joint to be dislocated
  • Clots may form as loose pieces of fat may enter the bloodstream and get into the lungs which can cause very serious breathing trouble
  • Nerves may be injured or swollen which can cause numbness
  • The replaced parts may become loose, break, or become infected

Physical Therapy

After the Surgery, a physical therapist may help you with some exercises that you can do in the hospital and at home for a speedy recovery.

Activity and exercise must be a regular part of your daily regime to regain the use of your joint and muscles. Your physical therapists will recommend exercise to help you build your strength and learn how to use a walker, a cane or crutch. Gradually you will be able to put more weight on your leg and be able to walk without assistance.

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