- What Is a Total Hip Replacement?
- Causes of Hip Pain
- Concerns Treated by a Hip Replacement
- Total Hip Replacement Surgery
- Total Hip Replacement Recovery
Walking, jogging, bending, and dancing all require use of the hips. But if this hardworking joint experiences pain and mobility issues, your well-being can be significantly affected. Over time, wear and tear or arthritis can lead to problems doing the most ordinary activities, at which point a hip replacement may be recommended. It is our philosophy to try conservative methods first and foremost, but if minimally invasive techniques are unable to address your hip problem, our board certified orthopaedic surgeons can provide unparalleled treatment at our state-of-the-art practice.
What Is a Total Hip Replacement?
A hip replacement is a procedure designed to eliminate the diseased or worn down bony and soft tissues of the hip joint, and replace them with a metal and medical-grade plastic prosthesis. This is done to alleviate pain and to enhance mobility. Most patients who receive a hip replacement are in their 50s, 60s, and beyond, but some younger individuals may also require a hip replacement if they participated in repetitive high-impact sports and activities that caused injuries or wear and tear.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Like the shoulder joint, the hip joint functions as a ball and socket, one that is quite flexible, making it possible to move backwards, forwards, side to side, and to twist. To function properly, the joint relies on the coordination of the bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the surrounding area. Some of the most common causes of hip pain are:
- An improperly healed injury
- A chronic illness
- Regular wear and tear and overuse
- Severe arthritis, such as osteoarthritis
- Traumatic injuries, such as a fracture or dislocation
X-rays and other imaging methods will be used to determine how severe the condition is and determine if hip surgery is necessary.
When Is a Hip Replacement Necessary?
Many factors must be considered to arrive at a recommendation for a total hip replacement. Ideal patients will be in good general health and be suffering from significant pain and dysfunction—for instance, having trouble walking and bending, feeling pain when at rest, experiencing stiffness, and having an inability to alleviate pain through traditional non-surgical treatments. If minimally invasive methods, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), injections, and physical therapy, have proven ineffective, this operation may be the best option for your needs and lifestyle.
Total Hip Replacement Procedure
During the procedure, your surgeon will remove any signs of disease from the hip joint, including resurfacing the hip. The prosthesis is made up of several components. The ball side, which is connected to the femur head (the end of the thigh bone) can be attached with cement, or they may be “press fit,” which means they are designed to allow your existing to bone to integrate with the piece. The other major device is called the socket, which is placed into the hip socket and looks like a cup. The socket is typically made of plastic, ceramic, or metal, and may come with a metal outer shell. The socket may also be cemented in or it can be screwed into place. The surgery usually takes a few hours, and general anesthesia is most often used.
Total Hip Replacement Recovery
You will spend at least one night in the hospital, or potentially more depending on your individual needs. You will start physical therapy right away, moving your leg and standing and walking a small distance to begin strengthening the joint. Some discomfort is to be expected, but we will prescribe medication to manage your pain so you can heal as comfortably as possible. A walker or crutches can be used to get around more easily, and other tools and tips will be discussed to assist you during recovery. You will need some help in the beginning with daily chores and activities, and you may wish to talk with friends and family about how they can be useful. If you live alone, we will talk about arranging some care. Your activities will be modified for the first several weeks. Recovery is a gradual process, and to achieve the best result you must be dedicated and patient. Our skilled and knowledgeable medical team will be with you the whole way.
Learn more about total hip replacement surgery from our leading orthopaedic surgeons. Contact our office today to find out more.