Hip replacement surgery is a common orthopedic surgery that you may have heard of but perhaps do not know too much about!
Today we are going to explore this surgery to give you a greater idea of what is involved. This can help you to make more informed decisions about your treatment options if this is a surgery that you are considering.
Hip Replacement Surgery
During a hip replacement surgery the doctor will surgically remove the hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint. The artificial joint will be made up of both plastic and metal components.
Through the advent of medical technology, this surgery can be conducted in a minimally invasive way. However, it may sometimes still be done in the more traditional way.
The main difference between the traditional surgery and the less invasive surgery is the size of the incision required.
During the traditional surgery a general anesthetic will be administered to induce sleep and prevent the patient from feeling any pain during the surgery. This also serves to relax the muscles of the body. The surgeon will then make the incision along the side of the hip and the muscles around the thigh will be moved so that the hip joint is exposed. The size of thhe incision for this type of surgery will be approximately 8 - 10 inches long.
The ball of the joint can then be removed by sawing through the bone, and the artificial joint will be attached using a special material. Damaged cartilage will be removed from the hip bone, and a drain may be used to help take any excess fluid away from the body. The muscles will be reattached and the incision site will be closed.
Minmally Invasive Surgery
In recent years the minimally invasive technique has been used by more and more surgeons. This surgery requires one or two incisions of between 2 and 5 inches long.
The next stages of this surgery are the same as the traditional option, performed through the smaller incisions. The benefits of using the less invasive technique are that less blood is lost, less pain is felt following the surgery, the appearance if the scar is reduced, and the healing period is shorter.
If the minimally invasive technique is the decided upon route, then it is essential that the surgeon is highly skilled and experienced in this surgery. This helps to improve the chances of a successful outcome with this surgery.
Reasons for Hip Replacement
This is a surgery that is often considered when arthritis has caused the hip joint to become painful.
Although this is a relatively common surgery for this problem, it will generally only ever be considered once all other treatment options have been explored. If these less-serious non-surgical options are not found to provide adequate relief for the pain, then surgery will be considered.
It is a common misconception that hip replacements are just for older people, and anybody who is experiencing pain because of a hip problem may find some relief from this surgery.
If you are experiencing pain or soreness in the hip or groin area, especially if you find that this pain prevents you from enjoying normal activities, or from walking for long distances, then you should discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible.
Once the surgery has successfully been completed, and the recovery stage has passed, then it is hoped that the patient will be able to walk with greater ease, and with a reduced amount of pain.
It is normal to expect that the recovery from this surgery will take at least 12 weeks. Before this time is up the patient should not resume normal activities, and should get as much rest as possible, especially during the first few weeks of recovery.
Although 12 weeks is a good aim for getting back to normal, some patients can take up to 6 months to feel completely ready to be as active as they previously have been. Each and every patient is different, and when you are recovering from this surgery you should always do what feels right for you.
It will be necessary to have somebody assist you in the period immediately following surgery so that an optimum amount of rest can be enjoyed.
In the first two weeks after surgery, an assessment from a physical therapist will usually take place to determine how best to move forwards with the recovery. The physical therapist should be able to answer any questions about the success of the surgery, and how quickly recovery may develop based on initial progress. As the pain continues to subside after the surgery, it is natural to expect that range of motion and energy levels will increase.
Onto Orthopedics Hip Replacement
Hip replacement is one of our specialties at Onto Orthopedics! You can click here to learn more about what we do and what we can do for you!