Hip Replacement Surgery/Orthopedic Treatment
When is a Hip Replacement required?
Degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) of the hip joint is the most common type of arthritis, which usually develops with age.Progressive worsening of arthritis in the hip joint may require Hip Replacement Surgery. Congenital abnormality, prior trauma, bony fractures, rheumatoid arthritis of the hip joint and death of the hipbone are some of the other conditions leading to total hip replacement
Extreme chronic pain and impairment of daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or rising from a sitting position, are signs that one should check in time to avoid hip replacement.
What are the risks involved?
Before you opt for total hip replacement, you should speak to your surgeon at length about any problems or aspirations that you may have. You must gain knowledge of all the risks involved as they differ with every patient and your surgeon will be able to explain to you what they are in your case. Your surgeon is available to you for any questions or concerns that you may have.
After a total hip replacement, certain activities may be prohibited, such as squatting, lunges or certain forms of exercise. Please ask your doctor about activities that must be avoided in your case.
How is total hip replacement done?
A total hip replacement is an operative procedure, which involves the substitution of the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint with artificial materials. The hip joint is categorized as "ball and socket" joint. The cup-shaped bone of the pelvis or the acetabulum is the socket and the head of the femur (thigh bone) is the ball. These two parts, when problematic are replaced with a ceramic or metal ball that is inserted into the femur and a plastic or ceramic cup socket.
The artificial ball and stem are together called the prosthesis. Once the prosthesis is inserted into the central core of the femur, surgical cement called methymethacrylate is used hold it in place. A prosthesiswithout cement is considered for younger patients, allowing ingrowths from the femur to hold the prosthesis in place. These last much longer than the alternative.
What happens in the recovery period after the surgery?
After the surgery a patient may have to remain in the hospital for up to a week.
- 24 hours: Patients are encouraged to start exercises in bed.
- 2nd Day: Drain from the joint is removed and the dressing is reduced in size Patients are made to sit on bedside with legs supported.
- 3rd day: Patient is encouraged to stand and walk using a walker and a day or two later, they are able to visit the toilet, with assistance, using a high seat.
- 5th Day: patient is discharged from the hospital with instructions as regards to medicine and physiotherapy.
- 2 weeks: Stitches are removed.
- 3 weeks: Patient is encouraged to walk with a walking stick.
- 4-6 weeks: Patients are trained to start climbing stairs. In case of hybrid or non-cement hip replacement, the patient is usually advised to avoid exercise that involves weights.
- 12 weeks: One can usually begin driving vehicles with due precautions.
What precautions must I take after the surgery?
- Do not twist or pivot the operated leg after hip replacement.
- Use walkers, crutches or canes whenever possible.
- Walk short distances at a normal pace.
- Make sure you have access to all your things without using the stairs too many times in a day.
- Arrange your room's furniture so that it is free from loose objects that may cause you to fall.
- Keep enthusiastic pets away as they may cause you to fall, or put pressure on the joint.
- Do not crossyour legs at the knees or ankles.
- Avoid bending over to pick up anything from the floor or bending your hip more than 90°.
- Do not sleep on your side, until instructed otherwise by your physician.
- Do not squat or sit in a low chair.
- Consult your doctor before starting any major physical activity, such as driving, sexual intercourse and exercise.
- Your Physiotherapist will give you the techniques and adaptive equipment that will help you perform daily activities. Precautions must be followed strictly, as reckless use may lead to the dislocation of your newly replaced joint.
How long will my new hip joint last?
Generally hip replacement lasts for 15 years. It varies for every individual and may require a second replacement.