Total Hip Replacement

Introduction

Total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged cartilage and the bone of the hip joint are removed and replaced with prosthesis implant. A critical surgical procedure, it is performed by skilled orthopedic surgeons. This procedure helps restore the normal movement in the hip joint. It gives relief to the patients who are suffering from hip joint problems such as a fracture in the hip and aging-related wear and tear in the hip joint. The surgery can be partial or total depending on the patient. There are several ways in which the surgery is conducted depending on which approach or technology is used.


When is it performed?

It is performed in case of hip fracture and hip joint arthritis. It is recommended only when non-surgical treatment has failed to treat the problem. The surgeon makes sure that the patient is not suffering from any serious disease and can endure the major operation. A thorough examination is done before proceeding with total hip replacement.


How is it performed?

It is performed under general anesthesia and can take two to four hours depending on the complexity of the case. The surgeon makes an incision in the hip joint region and then removes the damaged femoral head, replacing it with a metal stem implant. A metal ball is also placed on the upper part of the stem. Afterward, the damaged cartilage of the socket is removed and in its place, a metal socket is implanted with or without the help of screws or cement. Lastly, a metal or ceramic spacer is inserted between the socket and the ball and the incisions are stitched.


Recovery

The patient is discharged two to four days after the surgery. Recovery can take anywhere from six weeks to three months. During this time, pain in the hip is common and the doctor prescribes medications to counter the same. During recovery, the patient has to rely on walking aids for movement and also undergo physical therapy. The patient can return to normal daily routine only after full recovery.