What is Total Hip Replacement?
If common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair become painful and difficult, your hip may be damaged by arthritis, a fracture or other conditions. The most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability is osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis. These conditions are also the most common reason patients consider hip replacement surgery.
Hip replacement surgery may be recommended when medications, activity modification or the use of walking supports no longer relieve pain and improve your mobility. Hip replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can relieve your pain, increase motion, and help you get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities.
Am I a Candidate for Hip Replacement?
The likely candidate for total hip replacement surgery usually has pain that limits or completely restricts everyday activities such as standing or walking. Hip pain at rest and lying down that keeps you from sleeping, makes you a candidate for hip replacement. Stiffness in the hip that limits mobility such as walking or sitting to get in a car. Candidates for hip replacement generally find very little to no relief from anti-inflammatory medications and walking aids such as a cane or walker. Pain and immobility are serious issues that impact the quality of your life.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a degenerative condition that results from worn cartilage decreasing the protective cushions around the bone. Bone on bone friction creates osteophytes to form also known as bone spurs which are very painful and usually need to be treated with surgical intervention.
Hip replacement surgery is highly successful in alleviating pain and stiffness within the joint and restoring function to your weight bearing extremities. After a recovery period, followed by a physical rehabilitation and strengthening program, you will regain your quality of life with reduced pain and mobility.
What to Expect After Hip Replacement Surgery
There are several surgical approaches when it comes to replacing the hip joint. You and your doctor will decide which one will be the best solution for you and your condition. It is normal to experience some pain right after surgery, but it will be managed in the hospital setting. After a few days, most patients experience a dramatic reduction in pain and significant improvement in their ability to perform the activities of daily living.
Physical therapy will be started in the hospital soon after your surgery. You will use walking aides to begin to bear weight on your new hip. Physical therapy is a critical part of recovery and restoring function in your hip. You will learn exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your hip. You can expect to be walking, driving, biking and performing other low-impact activities within 4-6 weeks after surgery.