Hip replacement procedures, along with knee replacement procedures are becoming more and more popular as a means to treat joint failures. In 2014, over 332.000 hip replacement procedures were performed in the US alone. Compare that to more than 719.000 knee replacement procedures in the same time period and we can see that joint replacement orthopaedic surgery is becoming more and more sought after. With that in mind, let’s get down to the 5 facts you need to know about hip replacement surgery. Visit “Hip Replacement Cost Around The World” for more information.
1. What is a hip replacement surgery?
Hip replacement surgery is a type of joint replacement orthopaedic procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant created from a mix of titanium, cobalt, chrome and ceramic. A hip replacement procedure can be total or partial, depending on the patient’s need and reason for surgery. Here is a complete list of hip replacement clinics in Turkey.
Patients that require hip replacement surgery suffer from one or more of these conditions:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Avascular necrosis
- Hip fractures
- Certain bone tumours
- Traumatic arthritis
Some patients may not be suitable for hip replacement surgery. These individuals often suffer from:
- Poor general state of health
- Higher risk of infection
- Parkinson’s disease
- Any disease that causes severe muscular weakness
2. Partial Hip Replacement VS Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement and partial hip replacement are very different procedures simply because they treat different aspects of a damaged hip joint.
A total hip replacement is a good option for patients that suffer from bone disease such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This procedure is necessary because the disease affects all components of the hip joint, including the acetabulum (the hip socket). If the socket and surrounding bone tissue are affected by disease, the only option is a total hip replacement surgery.
A partial hip replacement surgery is a good option for patients that suffered an injury or fracture of the hip bone, specifically the neck of the femur. In a partial hip replacement procedure only the head of the femur is replaced, because the acetabulum or socket is still healthy and working properly.
3. Hip Replacement Recovery Period
Patients usually spend between 3 and 5 days in hospital and then the recovery period can begin. Depending on the surgery type, the success of the therapy and the patient’s health, full recovery from the surgery takes between 3 to 6 months.
The patient will be able to sit, stand and walk with some help in just 1-2 days after the surgery. Seeing a physical therapist in the first day after the procedure is essential. Once the patient is allowed to return home, continuous exercise with a therapist is necessary for the next few weeks and in some cases even months.
Other tips after a hip replacement surgery include:
- Wear an apron around the house – you will have your hands free to use crutches or walkers
- Stair climbing should be avoided as much as possible
- The patient should avoid recliner chairs and go for straight-back chairs
- Large pets should also be avoided during the recovery period – they can make the patient trip or fall
- Throw rugs should be removed from all the floors as they can be quite slippery
- The patient should try to put as little pressure as possible on their hips (this includes bending)
4. Hip Replacement Exercises
Exercises are a good way to reduce stiffness and joint pain after a hip replacement surgery. Patients that underwent a hip replacement surgery need physical therapy with a trained professional. The physical therapist will decide when the patient is strong enough to do certain beneficial activities such as:
- Walking for longer periods of time
- Road biking
- Cross country skiing
The goal of these exercises is to increase blood circulation, increase general muscle strength but also to avoid potential injury to the new joint. Activities such as tennis, basketball, football or jogging are not recommended as they tend to put a lot of pressure on the new joint.
5. Hip Replacement Alternatives
Conservative management as a hip replacement alternative
Conservative management is primarily composed of physical therapy, activity modification and medication. The process is highly dependent on the recommendations of your doctor and it can delay or even prevent the need for hip replacement surgery.
Hemiarthroplasty is a type of orthopaedic procedure in which just half of the joint is replaced with an artificial surface. Usually the head of the femur is replaced with a composite or metal prosthesis. This hip replacement alternative is only recommended for very old patients, as the prosthesis can actually erode the acetabulum or joint socket even more.
Hip resurfacing has been used as an alternative to hip replacement for over 17 years. Patients can also opt for minimally invasive hip resurfacing but these choices depend heavily on the type of injury they have.
Minimally invasive hip resurfacing advantages include:
- Less pain after the surgery
- Less soft tissue and muscle damage
- Smaller incision site
- Faster recovery after the surgery
- Shorter hospital stay
- Lower blood loss during surgery