Hip Replacement

Hip replacement can be recommended when hips have sustained damage from fractures, arthritis, or other diseases that have caused irreversible injury to the bone. To help people learn more about hip replacements and hip surgery, we’ve provided detailed information below.

 

What is a Hip Replacement?

There are two primary types of hip replacements, also known as hip arthroplasty: partial and total hip replacement. In both types of operations, the surgeon removes the damaged section of the hip joint and replaces it with an artificial prosthesis that is likely made from metal, ceramic or very hard plastic. The artificial hip prosthesis helps to reduce pain while improving function. During a partial hip replacement, the surgeon will replace the ball portion of the joint with a prosthetic ball and stem. A total hip replacement surgery consists of a prosthetic replacement for the ball and stem, and the socket of the hip joint.

 

What are the Benefits of Hip replacements?

There are several benefits of having a hip replacement procedure, whether a partial or total hip arthroplasty:

  1. Hip replacement surgery can eliminate joint and hip pain. This is the primary reason people will seek hip replacement surgery. Having the ability to walk and move without pain is a major benefit. 
  2. Restoring movement and activity to normal or almost normal. After having a hip replacement surgery, many patients resume their normal activities and hobbies that had previously been hindered by hip pain. 
  3. Reduction of chronic health conditions. According to studies presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2013, hip replacement surgery is associated with a reduction in mortality, heart failure, diabetes and rates of depression.

 

Who is a Good Candidate for Hip Replacement Surgery?

There are several conditions a person may have that can lead them to have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and be recommended for a hip replacement procedure:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is sometimes referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis. This disease damages the slick cartilage at the ends of bones which helps the joints move smoothly.
  • Osteonecrosis: This is when enough blood isn’t supplied to the ball portion of the hip joint and can occur from a dislocation or fracture, leading the hip bone to collapse or deform. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is caused by an overactive immune system that creates inflammation, eroding cartilage and sometimes the underlying bone. Ultimately, it can result in damaged and deformed joints in the hip.

Other experiences that may mean having hip replacement surgery include:

  • hip pain that persists, despite prescribed pain medication
  • hip pain that interferes or prevents sleep
  • hip pain that impedes basic functions, like dressing or going up and downstairs
  • hip pain that makes it difficult to rise from a sitting position
  • hip pain that worsens with walking, despite a cane or walker

 

What Does Hip Replacement Surgery Entail?

Hip replacement surgery is best described in three stages: preparation, the procedure, and recovery. In this section, we’ll discuss what you can expect from a hip arthroplasty surgery.

 

Preparing for a Hip Replacement Surgery

  • The surgeon will likely administer a general anesthetic or you’ll be given a spinal block that numbs the lower half of your body. 
  • An incision is made over the front, back or side of your hip before removing the diseased and/or damaged bone and cartilage. 
  • Then, if undergoing a partial hip replacement, the surgeon will replace the round ball on the top of your femur with a prosthetic one that will be attached to a stem fitting into your thigh bone to complete.
  • If undergoing a total hip replacement, the surgeon will replace the ball and socket of the hip joint with a prosthetic joint.  

Both types of hip replacement surgeries are similar in procedure and will take several hours to complete.

 

Hip Replacement Surgery

The surgeon will likely administer a spinal block that numbs the lower half of your body or you’ll be given a general anesthetic.
An incision is made over the front or side of your hip before removing the diseased and/or damaged bone and cartilage.
The surgeon will then replace the round ball on the top of your femur with a prosthetic one that will be attached to a stem fitting into your thigh bone.
Both of the hip replacement types of surgery take several hours to complete and are similar in procedure.

 

Recovering from Surgery

Hip replacement recovery can vary depending on the needs of the patient. Immediately following the surgery, you’ll be moved to a room to recover while your anesthesia wears off and medical staff can monitor your pulse, blood pressure, pain, and comfort level, as well as any medication needs. If your procedure is done in an ambulatory surgery center you will return home the same day.

There will be a home recovery period that requires follow-up care to ensure your hip heals well:

  • Keep everyday items at waist level to avoid bending down
  • Physical therapy
  • Home assistance, whether a friend, family member or caregiver

 

Puget Sound Hip Replacement Doctors

Our qualified and skilled hip replacement doctors are available to restore your health and return you to the activities you enjoyed before hip and joint pain took its toll. Meet our team of hip doctors below:


 

Hip Doctors