What is Hip Replacement?

 Hip replacement surgery has become very common nowadays. This procedure is also known as arthroplasty. When all other treatment fails to reduce hip and joint pain you may find hip replacement more convenient for long lasting measure. In this procedure a doctor surgically removes the diseased parts of the hip joint and replaces them with new artificial joint. 

 The new parts are often made of metal or plastic like components, they are called prosthesis. This surgery should improve your mobility by relieving pain and improving the function to make walking easier; if you’re facing pain in hip joints you may want to learn more about it. 

What is Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery is generally considered when your hip joints are wearing down resulting from osteoarthritis. Also due to avascular necrosis, this happens from insufficient blood supply leading to loss of bone. Or bone tumor that may cause to break down of hip joint. Adult or young people both may need to consider this as a treatment if suffering from severe pain in hip joint or stiffness, such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Procedures of Hip Replacement Surgery

The procedure of your hip replacement surgery may vary considering your condition. But during standard hip replacement surgery the procedures may be as followed,

i The surgery will require general anesthesia to put you in temporary sleep. This will prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure.

ii The skin over the surgical area will be disinfected and then the doctor will make an incision along the side of the hip and expose the area of hip joint.

iii Next, the head joint is removed by severing the femur. Then the artificial joint is attached that fits the stem using cement or other special material.

iv After attaching it properly the doctor removes any damaged cartilages and prepares to reattach the muscle and closes the incision.

v An anesthesiologist will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen level continuously. 

vi A drain may be placed in incision area to help drain any fluids.

vii Since there are chances of blood loss during this procedure you may want to donate your blood before the surgery to help with transfusion after.

viii A sterile bandage or dressing will be applied after the surgery.

Precautions after the surgery

The hip replacement surgery will usually require your stay in hospital for six to ten days. You will be moved to a room for close observation; soon a physical therapist will consult you to plan a rehabilitation program for you. That you can start within a few days after the surgery. Even after you are discharged, the physical therapy will most likely to continue for a few months to help you regain your muscle strength and a good range of motion. But you’ll be able to walk with a cane or crutch in a week at most. 

After returning home, you’ll have to be cautious with the surgical area. Keep it clean and dry regularly until the follow up visitation remove the stitches. 

Pain or soreness may follow after the surgery. But don’t use any other medication which is not prescribed by the healthcare provider. Aspirin and other pain reliever may increase the chance of bleeding. Consult your doctor if you notice any abnormalities, same goes for fever, increased pain or numbness in affected leg.

Your physical therapist will give you necessary guidelines and precautions to perform daily activities follow them accordingly. If you choose not to, you may dislocate your newly placed joint and worsen your condition that will require another surgery. The precautions therapists normally suggests are, 

i For about 6 to 12 months avoid pivoting or twisting your involved leg more than 90 degrees. Take extra caution while exercising. 

ii Use handrails in all the stairs, and keep the climbing to the minimum.

iii Sit in a stable chair with firm cushions and straight back to position your knees lower than your hips.

iv Use elevated toilet sits to avoid bending your hips too much.

v To avoid falling in shower use rails and shower bench in bathroom.

vi Remove loose carpets and rags to prevent tripping and keep room clutter free.

Is hip replacement reliable?

Hip replacement surgery has been performed for many years now, and the techniques have improved for the better ever since. But every surgery has its risks. 

i Since you won’t be moving around much, blood clotting may become a problem. Doctor will give you blood thinners to prevent that.

ii Your legs may not be at equal length anymore after the surgery.

iii You must be careful even after healing, that you don’t sit too low, play sports that put pressure on your involved leg at any way. The joint may be dislocated.

A successful surgery lasts approximately 20 years now. And using better prosthesis extends the time. If the artificial joint gets worn out or damaged or any sort, there is a scope for revision surgery to repair it but it gets more complicated than the first time. You should discuss it with your surgeon before considering it.


The goal of this surgery is to relieve you from joint pain and to help you lead a normal and healthy life. Consider both pros and cons before getting the surgery. Researchers are developing more and more surgical techniques and designs of prosthesis to make the surgery more successful and longer lasting.

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