If you are suffering from chronic hip pain and unable to perform simple everyday activities, chances are your doctor will recommend you hip replacement surgery. Hip arthritis is a painful condition and can make your life miserable. Surgical intervention for treating damaged hip joints is usually considered when other non-invasive treatment options like pain killers, physical therapy, etc. fail to resolve the symptoms.
The hip replacement procedure, also known as hip arthroplasty, involves replacing the deteriorated hip joint with an artificial prosthetic implant to restore the range of motion and ease the pain. You can resume your daily tasks and enjoy an active lifestyle once recovery after the surgery is fully complete.
However, there has been no clinical data supporting the superiority of one approach over the other. Every surgery has risks and benefits which are unique to that type of approach.
Types of hip replacement surgeries:
- Total hip replacement
It is the most common type of hip replacement procedure. In the traditional approach of hip replacement surgery, a large incision of about 10-12 inches is made by a surgeon near the hip area to expose the hip muscles and access the joint parts.
The hip joint comprises a femoral head and an acetabular socket. An artificial cup-shaped prosthetic usually made of metal is used to replace the natural hip socket. The liner is most commonly made of a medical-grade plastic known as polyethylene.
The femoral head is replaced by an artificial metal or ceramic implant that is shaped like a ball to fit the liner and form the joint. A metal stem implant is fit into the thigh bone (femur). A spacer made of plastic, ceramic, or metal is typically inserted between the artificial ball and socket that allows smooth gliding of implants.
Minimally invasive hip replacement
Minimally invasive hip replacement is a newer procedure in which the incision made during the surgery is smaller. It is a less invasive procedure that allows the surgeon to save key muscles and tissues than that traditional surgery. The procedure and implants used are the same as those used for traditional hip replacement.
However, this procedure may result in a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery. However, everyone does not make a suitable candidate for minimally invasive hip replacement. Your doctor will discuss the procedures in detail and assist you in determining which procedure is the best option for you.
Other types of hip replacement surgery include
Revision Hip Replacement surgery is a secondary surgery that is performed when the artificial implant that was put during the primary hip replacement is replaced with a new implant. This surgery is required when the original artificial implant wears out, loosens, or causes an allergic reaction and bone damage.
Partial Hip Replacement is like total Hip Replacement but only one component of the hip joint (femoral head) that is damaged is taken out. This surgery is suggested on the basis of the extent of bone deterioration.
Hip Resurfacing is a type of hip surgery in which the femoral head is trimmed and capped using a metal covering. The damaged part of the bone and cartilage of the socket is replaced with a metal implant. This is a metal-metal hip surgery where both the components of artificial prosthetics are made of metal.
The orthopedic surgeon takes about 90 mins to perform total hip replacement (THR) surgery.
The hospital stay is usually for one or three days after the procedure.
The rehabilitation process starts after the first of the surgery and a physical therapist will guide you through various movements, from sitting up, getting out of bed, and practicing walking, etc.
After discharge from the hospital, you can continue with physical therapy on an outpatient basis. Recovery takes up to 6 – 8 weeks and most patients are able to resume everyday activities and even return to low-impact sports activities after this period.
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