Surgery is typically a last resort for orthopaedists and patients when dealing with pain and discomfort. However, when non-operative treatments fail to produce results, surgery offers a solution.
In the case of severe hip arthritis, a debilitating and painful condition, total hip replacement surgery is a procedure that yields short- and long-term relief for a patient's pain. Hip replacement surgery is very successful and does not typically result in complications.
Below is an overview of what you can expect from the surgery itself as well as during the recovery process.
· In surgery, the arthritic hip is removed or resurfaced. A metal and plastic prosthesis is then inserted, providing the hip with the functionality of a normal hip while potentially correcting any leg length inequality and restorating motion. The prosthesis is sometimes fixated to the bone with cement, which penetrates into the acetabulum and the femur. However, a surgeon more often use undesired components with roughened surfaces, which will also fixate the prosthesis to the bone. Both methods have proven to be effective.
· You can expect to stay in a hospital anywhere from two to three days after hip replacement surgery. Relief from the pain of arthritis will often be felt within the first week or two.
· Complications from this surgery are rare, with a probability of less than 5% for a patient's first surgery.
· When recovering from hip replacement surgery, you should expect to undergo physical therapy in order to recover strength and functionality. In the first four to eight weeks, many patients use a walker, crutches, or a cane while recovering. However, you can expect to return to a normal lifestyle within three to six months.
· Immediately after surgery, one of the most important aspects of care and recovery is keeping your incision clean and dry until you have your suture or staples removed. These are typically removed a week or two after surgery.
· In the first twelve weeks of recovery, you should take certain precautions to avoid compromising the recovery process. Avoid excessive flexion of your hip, be careful when rising to a standing position or getting in and out of a car, and avoid aggressive activities like considering lifting or stair climbing.
· An exercise program, including general conditioning of your leg, is usually recommended.
Hip replacement surgery is a valuable surgery for those suffering from the extreme pain of hip arthritis. It provides immediate and long-lasting pain relief – a combination that makes it a go-to procedure when non-operative treatments have run their course.