In a hip replacement surgery the damaged parts of the hip are removed by hip replacement surgeons and they are replaced by prosthesis made of either metal or hard plastic. This helps the patient in reducing the pain and in regaining the functionality of the damaged hip joint. This surgery known as hip arthoplasty, or hip replacement helps the patient whose life and daily activities of life have become difficult as a result of the interference of the pain and in whose case, other treatments have become ineffective.
Why is hip replacement surgery done?
Most often hip replacement surgery is necessitated for people who suffer seriously from any of the following medical conditions.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is commonly known for the wear and tear associated with it resulting in the damages of the slick cartilage covering the ends of the bone helping the bones to move smoothly.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Overactive immune system leads to rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can lead to the erosion of the cartilage and the bone resulting in deformed joints.
Osteonecrosis: Insufficient blood supply to ball of hip can lead to the collapse of bones and consequent deformation.
- Hip replacement is also considered for persons who experience pain as detailed below:
- Continued pain in spite of taking pain medication
- Walking even with walker or cane increases the pain
- Pain makes it difficult to sleep comfortably
- Your ability to go up and down the stairs is affected
- Getting up from sitting position becomes very difficult
How to prepare?
Before the scheduled date for surgery the patient will meet the orthopedic hip surgeons
. They will examine the patient and will:
- Study his medical history and the medications that he is taking now
- Conduct physical examination and make sure that he is healthy and fit for surgery
- Study his range of motion in the hip joint and strength of the muscles surrounding it.
- Might order blood tests, X-ray and MRI
This preparation examination is the time for the patient to clear all the doubts regarding the surgery and to ascertain which medicines can be continued and which ones should be avoided till the surgery is over.
Before beginning the procedure
Before surgery the patient will be asked to remove his usual dress and a gown will be given to him which has to be worn during the surgery. The patient will be given either a spinal block or an anaesthesia that will help to numb the lower portion of the body.
During the surgery
- The surgeon will make an incision on the front side of the hip.
- Deceased or damaged portion of the hip will be removed and the healthy portion will be allowed to continue there.
- The prosthesis will be implanted replacing the damaged socket.
- Ball on top of femur will be replaced by the prosthetic ball.
The improved surgical procedure for replacing the hip is still evolving. Less invasive surgical techniques used recently can reduce the pain and recovery time.
After the procedure
The patient will be moved to the recovery room and will be there for a few hours till the anaesthesia wears off. His pulse blood pressure, alertness, pain etc will be monitored by the medical staff. There is increased risk of blood clotting in your legs. The following steps may be taken to reduce the problem of blood clotting.
- Mobilization: Patient will be encourage to sit up and even to walk with crutches if possible. This movement can be started on the day of surgery or on the following day.
- Pressure application: The patient will be asked to wear inflammable air sleeves or compression stockings on the day of surgery or on the following day. Pressure exerted by inflammable sleeves helps to keep the blood pooling in leg veins thereby reducing the blood clotting.
- Blood thinning medication: Surgeon may either through injection or through oral medication will administer blood thinning medication. This medication will be needed for several weeks.
Physical therapist will help you in doing physical exercises in the hospital as well as in the house to improve the movements of the hip joint. Physical activity exercise has to be done regularly as recommended by the therapist and study how to walk with the help of a walking aid. As therapy increases, more weight can be put on your legs and slowly start walking normally without any assistance of hip replacement surgeons Mclean, VA.