Total Hip Replacement
A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is surgically replaced with artificial implant. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The socket is a "cup-shaped" part of the pelvis called the acetabulum. The ball is the head of the thighbone (femur). Total hip replacement involves surgical removal of the ball and socket and replacing them with a metal or ceramic ball and stem inserted into the femur bone and an artificial plastic or ceramic cup socket. The metallic ball and stem are known as the "femoral prosthesis" and the plastic cup socket is the "acetabular prosthesis." Upon inserting the prosthesis into the femur, it is fixed with a bony cement called methylmethacrylate. On the otherhand, a "cementless" prosthesis is used that has microscopic pores which allow bony ingrowth from the normal femur into the prosthesis stem. This "cementless" hip have a longer duration and is especially for younger patients. Total hip replacement is also known as total hip arthroplasty.
What happens during surgery?
During standard hip replacement surgery, you are given general anesthesia to relax your muscles and put you into a temporary unconscious. By this patient will not feel any pain during the surgery. The doctor will then cut along the side of the hip and move the muscles connected to the top of the thighbone to expose the hip joint. The ball portion of the joint is then removed by cutting the thighbone with a saw. After that an artificial joint is attached to the thighbone using a special(cement) material that allows the remaining bone to attach to the new joint.
What happens after surgery?
After surgery, medicines or physiotherapy may be suggested by your doctor to prevent blood clot. you may have to wear special stockings two to three days following surgery. You may have to consult your surgeon after surgery to have the sutures removed. You must visit your surgeon if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Increased redness
- Pain or swelling
- Drainage at the incision
- Any other changes you question
How long is the recovery period after surgery?
The recovery period after surgery depends on the patient’s physical and medical condition.
Positioning After Surgery
After surgery, your physiotherapist will guide you regarding hip movement, precautions and any limitations for range of motion. Your physiotherapy and strengthening exercises will help you gain greater mobility and strength to your joint for easier recovery. It is highly recommended that you continue therapy treatment for the suggested timeframe prescribed by your physiotherapist.
How frequently should I schedule follow up appointments with my doctor following surgery?
If you have a problem before you schedule your follow-up appointment, make sure to call your doctor’s physician assistant immediately.
In addition to the first follow up appointment after discharge, this additional schedule is recommended:
- Three to six months following the date of surgery
- One year following the date of surgery
- Annually on the anniversary date of surgery