Total Hip Replacement (Hip Arthroplasty)

What You Need To Know About Total Hip Replacements

During a total hip replacement procedure, your damaged hip joint is replaced with implants that recreate the ball and socket of a healthy hip. This can reduce pain and restore your hip function.

What is Total Hip Replacement?

During a total hip replacement, a surgeon will remove portions of the patient's pelvis and demus from the hip joint and substitute it with artificial joints (prosthesis) made of metal, ceramic, or rigid plastic. Patients may require a hip replacement because of traumatic hip fractures or to alleviate severe pain caused by the original joints' deterioration due to conditions like osteoarthritis. The procedure helps patients regain hip mobility, relieve pain, and improve functionality.

The experts at Resurgens Orthopaedics can help alleviate painful conditions that affect hip mobility. Book an appointment to see an expert hip doctor today!

Why is a Total Hip Replacement Performed?

Physicians recommend total hip replacements if a patient experiences:

  • Chronic hip pain

  • Hip pain that restricts everyday activities, such as walking, exercising, or bending

  • Hip stiffness that constricts flexibility and mobility

  • Arthritic damage that severely diminishes joint cushion between hip bones

  • Physical therapy and medications do not alleviate symptoms

How to Prepare for a Total Hip Replacement

Before hip surgery, patients will consult with their orthopedic surgeon. A surgeon will document your medical history, current medications, order blood tests, and compile X-rays or MRIs if needed. The physician will examine your hips and test your range of motion and strength.

For total hip replacement, the patient should adhere to the following recommendations when getting ready for this surgery:

  • Modify the home to accommodate the patient during recovery.

  • Place handrails for showers and baths.

  • Purchase a stable and cushioned chair for recovery.

  • Buy a raised toilet seat.

  • Obtain a walking cane and an object to grab objects without having to bend over.

  • Removal of potential tripping hazards, such as loose carpet and electric cords.

  • Refrain from smoking tobacco for at least a month before surgery.

  • Do not have any dental work at least two weeks before surgery.

What Happens During a Total Hip Replacement?

To begin the procedure, the physician will administer anesthesia to the patient and make an incision to expose the hip joint. The surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and bone from the hip socket and inserts the new metal, plastic, or ceramic implant.

The doctor will place a prosthetic socket into the pelvic bone and replace the round ball at the femur with a prosthetic ball. The prosthetic socket in the pelvic bone will help the patient regain hip mobility and functionality. After the physician tests the new prosthetics, the surgeon will close the incision and bandage the patient.

The entire procedure takes around one to two hours. The patient will need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days during recovery. Once the physician examines and approves of the patient's recovery status, they may leave the hospital.

Are There Risks Associated with Total Hip Replacement?

Like most surgical procedures, there are some risks associated with a total hip replacement. Those include:

  • Blood clot formation in the legs, which may travel to your lungs, heart, or brain in rare cases. Consult with your physician to learn about blood-thinning medications to reduce risk.

  • Infections near the site of the incision. Physicians can treat small infections with antibiotics, but major infections may require an additional surgical procedure.

  • Dislocation caused by the ball of the new joint coming out of the socket. A physician may correct the issue with a hip brace or perform an additional surgery to stabilize it.

  • Hip joint fractures. Small fractures can heal independently, but more extensive fractures may require additional surgery to stabilize the hip joint.

  • Nerve damage at the point of the implant, which may cause numbness, weakness, or pain.

  • Newer implants may not solidify at the bone and loosen over time, causing pain.

  • A new hip may make one leg longer than the other one. Stretching and strengthening exercises can correct the length discrepancy.

Post Total Hip Replacement & Recovery

After surgery, the hospital staff will monitor the patient's blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate. The patient will need to stay in the hospital for several days after surgery. A physical therapist will begin helping the patient move the new joint and perform rehabilitation exercises. The patient will continue to practice recovery exercises at home once discharged from the hospital.

A physician will prescribe the patient suitable pain medication during at-home recovery along with specific instructions to follow. During a follow-up visit, a doctor will remove the stitches and staples. Recovery usually takes between one and two months.

Visit a Resurgens Orthopaedics expert to learn more about total hip replacement surgery and other hip procedures. Book your appointment now!