Overview of Hip Replacement
Having a hip replacement surgery can relieve your pain, recover your mobility and provide a better quality of life. The problems in your hip joints can prevent you from walking or functioning properly and cause severe pain. Orthopedic surgeons have been successfully performing hip replacements for years. Also, they stay current while the surgical techniques are constantly evolving.
In hip replacement surgery, they remove damaged areas of your hip joint and replace it with a prosthesis. These artificial joints are made of metal, ceramic, as well as very hard plastic. Furthermore, consider this procedure if other treatment options do not relieve your pain. After all, it is major surgery.
Today, prostheses can function for at least 15 years. Most patients experienced a great reduction in pain and freedom of movement after surgery. Additionally, arthritis is the most common cause of surgery.
Why Hip Replacement is Done?
- Continues despite taking medication
- Worsens when walking despite canes and walkers
- Interrupts your sleep
- Makes it difficult for you to dress
- Prevents you from using the stairs
- Makes it difficult for you to get up from your seat
hip replacement surgery may be a suitable option for you.
The following conditions can damage your hip joint and cause pain even when resting:
The most common reason for hip replacement surgery. It damages the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones which allows you to walk comfortably.
It occurs because your immune system is overactive. The inflammation caused by this disease can dissolve your cartilage and even your underlying bone. As a result, your hip joints become deformed and damaged.
If your hip bone is dislocated or fractured, your joint may not get enough blood. Thus, your hip bone can collapse and become deformed.
What are the Risks of Hip Replacement?
Every major surgery carries certain risks. Risks of hip replacement surgery include:
After hip replacement surgery, a blood clot can form in the veins in your legs. These clots can be dangerous if they travel to other organs in your body. So, your doctor prescribes blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk.
Infections may occur in the area where your surgeon made the incision or in tissues closer to your hip. Doctors can control most infections with antibiotics. However, if a major infection occurs in an area close to your prosthesis, you may need additional surgery.
During surgery, healthy areas of your hip joint may be fractured. Small fractures can heal on their own. However, large fractures may be stabilized by your doctor with wires, screws, a metal plate, or bone grafts.
In the first months after surgery, some movements may cause your new joint to become dislocated. If your hip is dislocated, your doctor may apply a brace to keep your hip in the correct position.
Change in leg length
Your doctor will try to prevent this problem as much as possible. However, sometimes a hip replacement can make one leg longer than the other. In this case, it helps to strengthen and stretch your muscles regularly. If the change is minor, you will not feel the difference for a few months after the operation.
It happens rarely, thanks to new prostheses. Your new joint may not fit properly into your bone or may loosen over time. Thus, pain occurs in your hip. Your doctor can correct this condition with additional surgery.
Rarely, nerves in the area where the surgeon placed the prosthesis may be damaged. Thus, numbness, weakness, and pain may occur.
Need for second hip replacement
If you had a hip replacement when you were young, your prosthesis may wear out over time. Therefore, you may need to have a second surgery. However, new materials have made prostheses a lot more durable.
How Do You Prepare?
Before surgery, an orthopedic surgeon will examine your medical history and medications. Next, they will examine your hip, measuring the range of motion of your joints and the strength of the surrounding muscles. Additionally, you’ll have a blood test and an x-ray, or an MRI may be required.
Stop smoking one month before the surgery and quit smoking for two months following the surgery.
In the two weeks before surgery, do not have any dental treatment. Including teeth cleaning.
What Can You Expect?
Surgeons may use a spinal block to numb the lower half of the body or administer general anesthesia.
Also, they can anesthetize the nerves around or inside your joints. Thus, you will not experience pain after the operation.
During Hip Replacement
Firstly, your surgeon makes an incision over the front of your hip and removes damaged bone and cartilage. Then, they place the socket of the prosthesis and finish the surgery by placing the prosthetic ball. They attach this component to a root in your thighbone.
The surgery takes a few hours.
Hip replacement surgery techniques continue to evolve. By developing less invasive methods, surgeons continue to shorten recovery time and reduce pain.
After Hip Replacement
After your surgery is over, they monitor your condition until the anesthesia wears off. They watch your blood pressure, heart rate, alertness, pain or comfort level, and need for medication.
Many patients can return home the same day. Also, medical personnel will ask you to breathe deeply, cough, or blow into a device to keep fluids out of your lungs.
Blood Clot Prevention
After your surgery, there is a risk of blood clots forming in your legs. You and your doctor can prevent complications from occurring by:
- Moving Early. Doctors will ask you to sit and walk with the aid of a cane or walker shortly after surgery. You can do this right after surgery or the next day.
- Apply pressure. You can wear special clothes that apply pressure, both before and after the surgery. This pressure helps prevent blood from pooling in your veins.
- Blood Thinning Drugs. Your doctor may prescribe a blood-thinning medication that is taken by mouth or injected after surgery. Depending on your condition after surgery, you may need to use blood thinners for a few weeks.
To speed up your recovery, seek help from a physical therapist to assist you with your exercises.
Do your physical activities and exercises without interruption every day to regain the function of your joints and muscles. Your physical therapist will give you mobility and strengthening exercises.
Also, you will learn to use walking aids such as a walker, cane, or crutches. As therapy continues, you will increase the weight on your leg until you can walk unaided.
Home Recovery and Follow-Up Care
After hip replacement surgery, you need care at home to heal properly. Before you go home, your doctor will advise your caregiver about your new hip joint.
For smooth recovery:
- Arrange for a relative or friend to cook for you
- Lower the items you use daily to waist level so you don’t have to bend over or lie down
- Consider making some changes to your home, like replacing a low toilet with a high one
- Keep your essentials close by
Within 6 to 12 weeks after surgery, your surgeon will do an exam to check your recovery. Most patients with proper recovery can perform their normal activities at a certain level after this point. It will take 6 to 12 months for you to fully recover and for your hip to become stronger.
Results of Hip Replacement
Your new hip replacement reduces the pain you felt before and increases the range of movement of your joint. However, don’t expect to go back to the way you were before your hip started to hurt.
Physical sports such as running and basketball can put too much strain on your artificial hip joint. But over time, you can comfortably do activities such as swimming, walking, and cycling.
Most importantly, you will function normally without pain.
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In Istanbul Medical Assistance your comfort during or after all kinds of procedures is our priority. Whether you are looking for more information, an initial evaluation, or a second opinion, do not hesitate to contact us via Whatsapp on +90 530 884 47 22 and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.