If you’re having a hip replacement, chances are that you suffer from some form of debilitating arthritis. Be it Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or some other form of arthritis, I’m sure you’ve been in a fair amount of pain and are looking forward to relief that a hip replacement can provide. But what is the process like to get a hip replacement, and what are the risks associated with it? This blog post will provide you with the information you need to feel confident in your decision to have a hip replacement and get you on the road to recover.
What is hip surgery?
Hip replacements, otherwise known as hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace a damaged hip joint with an artificial one. Most commonly performed due to severe pain caused by various forms of arthritis, hip replacements can also be performed due to a wide variety of issues, including after a hip fracture.
What is the Process Like?
After you’ve been sedated by an Anesthesiologist, the surgeon will start by removing the head from the femur. The surgeon will then secure a prosthetic socket made of polyethylene securely as well as securing the prosthetic ball and stem into the femur, either by press fit or with bone cement. Your surgeon will then place the ball into the socket and be very careful to ensure that it works smoothly in a wide range of motions. The surgeon will then close the incision, and the worst is over at that point!
After Your Hip Replacement
You will likely need to stay in the hospital for several days to ensure your wound heals properly. Under normal circumstances, you will likely begin working with a Physical Therapist the very next day.
Assuming your recovery goes well, you will likely be sent home after one to up to seven days in the hospital. You will likely need to continue with your physical therapy for several weeks, but there are several exercises you can do to speed up your recovery time. Only your doctor can tell you if it is safe for you to do exercises on your own, so please consult your doctor on this issue. Once you have the go-ahead to do exercises on your own, you can find a number of helpful exercises online. This Hip Surgeon in Richmond, Virginia has a nice PDF to download that includes exercises that will help speed up your recovery.
Your hip will slowly but surely start to feel more natural at this point. Persistence in your exercises and physical therapy can make a huge difference in your recovery time. For more information on recovery from a hip replacement, check out this article from ucsfhealth.org