Successful hip replacement surgeries give hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to live quality, pain-free lives. If you’re suffering from hip pain that, despite non-surgical treatment, won’t go away, a hip replacement might be the treatment solution you’ve been searching for. Here’s everything you need to know:
The hip is a ball and socket joint composed of the head of the femur and the acetabulum of the hip. Like all joints of the body, the hip is susceptible to arthritis and its associated symptoms.
Illustration 1– A normal hip vs. an arthritic one
Causes of Arthritis
The three types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint are:
- Age-related arthritis that develops due to naturally occurring degenerative processes in the body. As seen in the illustration above, osteoarthritis wears done cartilage that covers and protects the bone. As wearing increases, painful bone-on-bone rubbing occurs.
- Post-traumatic arthritis. Accidents or injuries can damage the bone and cartilage of the hip joint and cause early onset arthritis. Patients who sustain hip fractures or dislocations are especially susceptible to post-traumatic arthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. An autoimmune disorder known as rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation that disrupts the integrity of the joint. Patients with this condition experience arthritis to differing degrees. While the condition can be treated using medications prescribed by a rheumatologist, a hip replacement is necessary in severe cases, however is usually a late finding as RA involves smaller joints early in the disease process.
A total hip replacement replaces the head of the femur and acetabulum of the hip with metal and plastic components. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes 1-2 hours. Depending on the patient and circumstances, it can be done as an outpatient procedure, with one going home later in the day, however more commonly, a short hospital stay is to be expected.
Illustration 2– A total hip replacement restores the hip joint, decreases the symptoms of arthritis, and improves quality of life
Physical therapy and home exercise program is a big part of the recovery process. In most cases, it’s started the day of surgery, as early mobilization results in better outcomes. Once the patient is discharged from the hospital, home therapy sessions last until the first visit with the operating surgeon. Therapy can be continued on an outpatient basis, as determined by the operating surgeon, until the patient has made a full recovery, usually around the 6-8 month mark.
Patient satisfaction following a total hip replacement is high. The symptoms associated with changes due to arthritis are reduced (or eliminated) and the patient is able to return to a normal, fully functional life. Sometimes restrictions are put in place depending on the patient, and type of replacement that is used.
Contacting an Orthopedic Surgeon
Orthopedic surgeons are the only medical professionals who have been trained to perform total hip replacements. If you can relate to the information in this post, please give us a call to arrange an appointment with one of our specialists. They will evaluate your hip and come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. You’ll be on the road to recovery and can look forward to living a long and happy, pain free life.
The Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine (OSM) Center has 5 locations throughout Fairfield County. We utilize the collective skills of our exceptional providers to deliver the most complete musculoskeletal care available. From your first appointment, you are cared for by a team specifically built based on the best treatment for your condition. If surgery is necessary, you will be paired with an OSM surgeon who has the expertise and experience in your specific condition. Our surgeons use the latest minimally invasive techniques where appropriate to ensure fast recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consult.