Basics of Hip Joint Replacement

Hip joint replacement, also called total hip arthroplasty, is a procedure used to replace a damaged or worn hip joint with artificial components (prostheses). This surgery is often performed following a hip fracture or for patients with severe and advanced arthritis.

What types of arthritis affect the hip joint?hip arthritis picture

Three main types of arthritis affect the hip joints. These include:

  • Osteoarthritis – Degenerative joint disease, or OA, affects older individuals. This type of arthritis may cause joint cartilage break down.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Severe, deforming type of arthritis that causes synovial lining inflammation and excessive synovial fluid.
  • Traumatic arthritis – This results from an injury or trauma, and it causes cartilage damage.

Will I have a big scar after the surgery?

The traditional approach to hip replacement involves a 6 to10 inch incision over the hip joint. Newer approaches, such as minimally invasive and the anterior approach, involve two smaller incisions. The doctor will tell you which approach is best for you.

How do I prepare for hip replacement surgery?

When you meet with the surgeon, he will discuss the procedure and review the risks and benefits. Because bleeding is a risk, you must hold all blood-thinners for a few days before the surgery. The doctor takes a detailed medical history, inquires about allergies, goes over your medications, and conducts a physical examination. If not available, routine hip x-rays are done. Because this is a major surgery, you will have some preliminary tests (urinalysis, bloodwork, and EKG).

canstockphoto38482995What happens the day of the surgery?

You must arrange to have someone drive you home from the hospital and help you for a few days. Because anesthesia is given, you must fast for 8 hours before the procedure. After you change into a gown, a nurse places an IV catheter in your arm to administer medications. You will be given a mild sedative before going to the surgical room.

What happens during hip replacement surgery?

When you are asleep from anesthesia, the medical workers will clean your hip region using an antiseptic. The surgeon makes incisions and uses special instruments to remove the diseased and damaged hip bones. The prosthesis is inserted into the thigh bone, and the cup is placed into the hip joint socket. After all changes are made, the incisions are closed using sutures. The doctor will place a small drain and bandage over the surgical site.

What happens after my hip surgery?

After your operation, you are taken to the recovery room. A nurse monitors your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure, and once you are alert, you are taken to the hospital room. A nurse helps you to bed and administers pain medication as necessary. The physical therapist will meet with you and discuss your exercise rehabilitation plan. Some patients are moved to a rehabilitation center for recovery, whereas others will go home.

What modifications will I need at home?

After your hip replacement surgery, you will need certain modifications. The physical therapist will do a home visit before you have surgery to ensure you have the right modifications. These include:

  • Safety handrails in the bath/shower
  • Proper handrails along the stairs
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Shower chair
  • Stable chair with firm back and knee rest
  • Sock aid
  • Dressing stick
  • Long-handled sponge
  • Shower hose
  • Reaching stick
  • Firm pillows
  • Removal of all loose carpets and cords

Orthopedic and Sports Performance Institute offers top hip replacement doctors in Gilbert AZ. Most insurance is accepted, call us today!

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