Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which an orthopedic doctor surgically removes a painful hip joint with arthritis and replaces it with an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components. It is usually done when all other treatment options have failed to provide adequate pain relief. Hip surgery should relieve a painful hip joint, making walking easier.
Nowadays, suffering from hip pain and discomfort is no longer just a problem for older people. Annually, more than 330,000 patients – including the youth and adults – undergo surgery to eradicate these conditions. This surgery is minimally invasive and only requires a small incision. It is a procedure in which the damaged cartilage and bone are removed from the hip, and they are replaced with an artificial implant that restores the alignment and function, relieves pain, and helps restore movement more easily.
When is Hip Surgery Necessary?
While there are several reasons why this surgery is recommended, there are usually two main causes:
- Fracture: Injuries that happen after a hit or fall, where the bone and cartilage is damaged and the joint’s mobility is impaired.
- Arthrosis: It is produced by the deterioration of the protective cartilage of the hip joint, which generates friction and deforms the bones that make up this joint.
Are There Risks or Complications?
- Infection: Can be superficial; caused by the wound or present around the prosthesis.
- Blood clots: Clots around the leg or pelvis veins are surgery’s most common complications. They can become more serious if they move to the lungs.
- Feeling difference in leg length: After hip surgery, one leg may feel longer or shorter than the other.
- Dislocation: The risk of dislocation is greater during the first months after surgery, when the tissues are still healing. In this case, a second surgery could be necessary.
- Loosening and sagging of the implant: Over time, the hip prosthesis can wear out or loosen because of the performance of daily activities.
What Happens After Hip Surgery?
You will likely stay in the hospital for four to six days and may have to stay in bed with a wedge-shaped cushion between your legs to keep the new hip joint in place. A drainage tube will likely be placed in your bladder to help you go to the bathroom. Physical therapy usually begins the day after surgery and within days you can walk with a walker, crutches, or a cane. You will continue physical therapy for weeks to months following the surgery.