Hip Replacement Surgery: Understanding When and Why You Need It

By on April 6, 2018
Hip Replacement Surgery: Understanding When and Why You Need It and What to Expect Post Surgery

Replacement of the hip joint is revolutionary course of treatment which has helped patients with a new lease of life. Pioneered by a British orthopedic surgeon, Dr John Charnley this process replaces the hip joint with a prosthetic joint which is built to function just like the natural joint. Modern day hip replacements are extremely advanced, offering a number of prosthetic options to choose from. This surgery is required when the patient’s joint fails to operate normally due to various conditions such as extreme cases of osteoporosis, avascular necrosis, severe hip fractures, benign or malignant bone tumors etc.

Hip joint replacement is a safe medical procedure which poses little or no risk to the patient. Yet, it’s an invasive surgery which raises a number of questions in the mind of the patient who is about to get a major joint of their body replaced. If you are unsure about the process or necessity of this procedure, here’s all you need to know.

How do I know if I need it?

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Whether you need hip replacement or not, is something that only your orthopedic surgeon can actually determine but if you have been suggested this procedure as a course of treatment, here’s how you know that you might need the surgery.

 

You are in severe pain

Severe joint pain, which limits you from functioning normally is a sign that you might need a hip replacement. If you are in such pain that it doesn’t let you perform every day actions such as walking, dressing yourself, sitting etc. or makes you feel miserable all the time, you might want to consider the surgery. The joint might feel tender, often swollen and difficult to move, thereby causing constant agony and discomfort.

 

Treatments don’t work on you

Hip replacement might be necessary for patients on whom most forms of non-surgical treatments such as regular anti-inflammatory medication, compress, physiotherapy, walking support etc. fail to relieve pain or do so only for a short while. When the common forms of treatment start failing, thus they don’t show positive results on the condition of the patient, it is time to take hip replacement into question.

 

Process of Hip Replacement

Depending on the condition of the patient, as per the orthopedic evaluation of the patient’s joint, the course of the joint replacement is charted out. According the situation of the joint a standard or a mini incision is made through which the dysfunctional joint is replaced with a functional implant. Although studies have established that a smaller incision doesn’t affect recovery, it is all dependent on the need. The entire surgery takes a few hours.

 

Life after hip replacement

After the procedure the patient will experience relief from the debilitating pain and will soon be able to lead a normal life. But patients need proper after care and some rehabilitation treatments to restore full mobility after the surgery. After care involves regular dressing and keeping the area clean to prevent infection. Movement must be limited to only as much as is prescribed by the surgeon. It is important that the patient follows the doctor’s instructions down to every word for the fastest healing. Painkillers, antibiotics and necessary medication will also be prescribed to accelerate healing. For rehabilitation one might have to undergo treatments like physiotherapy, walking therapy, movement therapy etc. to regain mobility. Hip joint replacement is a safe surgical procedure which has around 95% success rate.

 

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Hip Replacement Surgery: Understanding When and Why You Need It