Hip replacements are one of the most common joint replacement surgeries in the United States. Every year approximately 300,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery to combat physical limitations, discomfort, and a less active lifestyle. During a hip replacement, or total hip arthroscopy, orthopaedic surgeons replace the old joint with an artificial joint to treat conditions that stiffen the joints and cause discomfort. The artificial joint restores function with as little inconvenience as possible. The vast majority of patients who undergo hip replacement surgery experience success after only one surgery with a new hip that can last around 30 years or longer.
The hip prosthesis is made up of three main parts: the stem, head joint, and cup. The cup fits in the socket of the hip, which the stem goes into the thigh bone and the head joint acts as the ball joint that fits into the cup. The artificial hip can either be a cemented prostheses or an uncemented prostheses. Cemented prosthesis are attached to the bone with surgical cement, while uncemented prosthesis attaches to the bone with a porous surface that the bone will grow over. In some cases, a combination of the two may be used.
Did You Know?
The hip is one of the body’s most important joints that plays an important role in a number of basic functions such as sitting, standing, walking, and bending. Although most people are born with healthy and functional hips, overtime the joint can degenerate and cause significant discomfort. When this happens, a hip replacement is usually recommended to restore function.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a hip replacement?
You may be a candidate for a hip replacement if you have joint damage or a joint disease, such as arthritis, that causes chronic and debilitating pain. One of the most common reasons for hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, however hip replacements can also be performed to treat certain types of hip fractures. Surgery is generally recommended when your hip pain limits everyday activities, continues while resting, limits your ability to move or lift your leg, and is not responsive to anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or walking supports. In some cases, there may be certain health conditions that can affect your candidacy. Therefore, it is recommended to schedule a consultation with one of our award-winning orthopedic surgeons to determine if you are an ideal candidate for hip replacement surgery.
What can I expect during a hip replacement?
Hip replacement surgery is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. In most cases, the entire procedure takes about an hour and you can expect to go home in about 1-2 days after surgery. During the hip replacement procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in the hip area to access the joint. Then, the damaged parts of the joint will be removed in order to make room for the prosthetic. Once the prosthetic has been placed, the incision will be stapled or stitched closed and a drain may be placed to remove excess fluid. Finally, the surgical site will be bandaged with a protective dressing.
What can I expect during the recovery period?
After surgery, you will need to remain in the hospital until you are able to safely get in and out of bed, and perform normal daily tasks alone. As you recover, you can expect to experience pain and swelling for the first few days and weeks after surgery. This is completely normal and should subside as time passes. Your surgeon will prescribe medications to help relieve excess discomfort. It is important to take these medications as directed so that you can adhere to a rehabilitative exercise regimen provided by a physical therapist.