Total hip replacement surgery also called total hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure conducted to replace the damaged or diseased hip joint with an artificial joint or prosthesis. The hip prosthesis contains the following three components:
The two types of prostheses used in the total hip replacement surgery include a.) cemented and b.) uncemented prostheses. A combination of both is sometimes used during the surgery, depending on the recommendation made by the patient.
The hip joint surgery is conducted in patients when other non-surgical and surgical alternatives fail to work and relieve the patient of the terrible hip pain. A successful hip joint surgery ensures increased mobility, improved function of the hip joint, and pain-free movement.
There are two types of total hip replacement surgery, differentiated on the basis of whether a single or both the hip joints are replaced. Total hip replacement bilateral refers to the replacement of joints on both the sides of the hips. This procedure is conducted when both the sides are affected.
Patients who experience the following symptoms are recommended to undergo bilateral hip replacement surgery:
The surgeon may decide to operate both the side of the hips in a single surgery or they may schedule two different surgeries with a gap in between them. The surgical approach that the hip replacement surgeon chooses before the procedure depends on the condition of the patients and the experience of the surgical team. There are two approaches that can be used to conduct the procedure – minimally invasive and open surgery.
Minimally invasive hip replacement is a relatively new procedure that allows for minimal healing and recovery time and small incisions. The open surgery, on the other hand, involves the creation of a single large incision that increased recovery and healing time. Each of these approaches has its own pros and cons.
Before the surgery, the hip replacement surgeon will give you general anesthesia or a sedative. You would receive an intravenous line in the arm or hand. The surgical area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and an incision is made in the hip area.
The surgeon then removes the damaged part of the hip joint and replaces the joint with an artificial joint or prosthesis. The incision is closed with stitches or surgical staples and a drain is placed to remove fluid. The incision site is secured with a sterile bandage dressing.
During the procedure, the surgeon removes a part of the thigh bone including the head of the bone and replaces it with the prosthesis. The surface of the acetabulum is first roughened so that it the new socket implant can attach to it well. Usually, a majority of artificial joint components are fixed using acrylic cement. However, cementless fixation has gained a huge popularity in the last few years.
The hip replacement implants may have plastic, metallic, or ceramic components. Metal-on-plastic implants are the most commonly used for hip replacement. Ceramic-on-plastic and ceramic-on-ceramic are used in younger and more active patients. Metal-on-metal is rarely used in younger patients.
Hip replacement surgery recovery time varies from one patient to the other. The success of this surgery hugely depends on your ability to follow the instructions given by the surgeon home care during the first few weeks after the procedure.
At the time of discharge, you will still have sutures and stitched under the skin. The doctor will remove stitches approximately two weeks after the surgery. See that you do not wet the wound until it is sealed and dried. You can bandage the wound to avoid irritation from clothing or support stockings.
During the first few weeks of your surgery, make sure to perform the exercises advised by the doctor. You may experience a little discomfort during activity and at night for several weeks. You will be able to return to conduct light activities within three to six weeks after the surgery.
Pain after hip replacement surgery goes away gradually. You may be given medications to manage pain after the surgery for a few days until it goes away completely.
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