Hip replacement surgery involves the removal of a hip joint with arthritis and its replacement with an artificial joint made of plastic and metal components. The new joint lasts, more or less for ten to twenty years. People who have severe degenerative bone disease or osteoarthritis and those who have lost a significant amount of cartilage consider a hip replacement. Osteoarthritis and arthritis are the most common causes of hip pain in the elderly. Arthritis causes the breakdown of hip bone cartilage leading to inflammation and hip joint pain. Paget's disease of the bone is a degenerative bone disease that affects the bone tissue recycling process causing bones to become fragile and deformed, resulting in hip problems such as hip pain. Hip joint pain, limping and prolonged muscle stiffness are all common symptoms of hip problems that require immediate attention.
Before you decide to undergo a hip replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to check that it is the best option for you and that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. The procedure generally takes two hours, and your surgeon will explain the details of the surgery to you before you are scheduled for the procedure. It is important to note that post-operative rehabilitation is an essential part of the process.
Hip replacement surgery is performed following the posterior approach. For the standard procedure, the patient is put under general anaesthetic, and the doctor makes a cut along the posterior of the hip close to the buttocks, muscles are moved to expose the hip joint. The ball part of the joint is removed, and an artificial joint is attached to the thighbone. Damaged cartilage is removed from the hip bone, a replacement socket is fitted to the hip bone, and the ball portion of the thigh bone is attached to the socket of the hip. The muscles are reattached. The doctor completes the total hip replacement surgery by closing the incision.
After hip replacement surgery is complete, it is quite likely that you will need to see a physiotherapist, and possibly an occupational therapist. He or she will help you to understand any limitations or precautions you need to take while you recover. After the surgery, you will receive 24 hours of antibiotics – this is to decrease the risk of infection. You will also be given some pain medication directly after the procedure to relieve any discomfort. You will also receive precautionary measures for blood clotting within your veins – also known as DVT.
It is important to remember that it can take time for you to recover from your hip replacement surgery properly, and you will not be fully mobile immediately after the procedure is complete. You must give yourself adequate time to heal properly. You may need to request assistance from family during your recovery at home over the initial few weeks. Your recovery time will depend very much on how complicated the surgery was, and your doctor will advise you on the best recovery plan for your specific needs.
Watch the remarkable two week recovery of a 79 year old man after a hip replacement done by Dr NaiduREAD MORE ABOUT THE SURGERY >>