Hip replacement surgery is one of the most commonly performed joint replacement surgeries in the country. Over 300,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery every year, and it’s one of the most successful surgeries in the field of orthopedics. Contrary to popular belief, hip replacement surgery is not for the elderly only. People as young as 45 can get a hip replacement.
Here are some quick facts about the procedure.
Who Needs A Hip Replacement?
Generally speaking, a hip needs replacement when it is significantly damaged and treatments or other forms of surgery cannot fix the problem. The most common reason why patients need hip replacement surgery is hip osteoarthritis, which causes damage to the hip bones and connective tissues.
Benefits of hip replacement surgery include pain relief as well as improved function, range-of-motion, and mobility. Hip replacement surgery can be minimally-invasive, which means there is less disturbance to healthy tissues, allowing the patient to recover faster.
What Happens During The Procedure?
Hip replacement involves the removal of the diseased parts of the hip joint. In a healthy hip, the cartilage covers the ball and socket of the joint, and the bones meeting at the joint glide smoothly. Worn away cartilage causes hip bones to rub against each other, which is painful. During hip arthroplasty, the surgeon removes either the diseased parts or the entire joint and replaces it with metal and plastic parts.
An orthopedic surgeon may use an anterior or posterior approach when performing hip replacement surgery, with the posterior approach being more common. Anterior means making an incision on the front of the hip and posterior means making an incision on the back.
Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery
You need to prepare for hip replacement surgery. Patients who are overweight may be asked to get down to a normal weight. Patients need to prepare their homes for recovery and install assistive devices to help them have a comfortable recovery. Patients recovering from hip arthroplasty need assistance, particularly during the first few weeks after surgery, so it is important to have a loved one nearby.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Recovery from hip replacement surgery takes time. Even with minimally-invasive techniques, you will need at least 6 weeks off work and other responsibilities to have a safe and effective recovery. After 6 weeks, you will be more independent and can function adequately on your own. However, it is still too soon to exercise or exert yourself too much.
An important part of recovery is physical therapy. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as the day after hip replacement surgery, with assistance, to prevent blood clots and improve circulation. Physical therapy is an important part of recovery, and patients are encouraged to do recommended exercises and stretches daily.
How Long Will My New Hip Last?
The prosthetic pieces of artificial hip joints are made of highly durable materials. However, they can wear down over time. Most hip joint replacements last about 20 years. Talk to your surgeon about steps you can take to prolong the life of your artificial hip joint.
Hip Replacement Surgeon in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes, FL
The orthopaedic surgeons at Total Orthopaedic Care are experts in joint reconstruction surgery of the hip, knee, and shoulder and are passionate about putting patients back on their feet. To maximize recovery, we also make physical therapy services available to our patients on-site. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon, call (954) 735-3535 or use our online request form.