What Is A Hip Replacement?
If you’re exploring treatment options for your hip arthritis or have already decided to undergo hip replacement surgery, It is important before you start, that you understand the benefits and restrictions of hip replacement surgery. Before you begin it’s best to be informed and know what to expect from hip replacement surgery and how you will recover.
First let’s begin on the procedure itself, what exactly is total hip replacement surgery? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like your deteriorated hip is replaced by an artificial one as seen in the image on the left. You can clearly see the metal implant in the X-ray. Hip replacements are referred to as “Arthroplasties” by doctors. You’re probably wondering what actually takes place when you undergo an Arthroplasty. Well for starters the damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with prosthetic ones, whether ceramic or metal. The procedure starts when the damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. Then A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femur head that was removed. The damaged cartilage surface of the socket is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place. A plastic, ceramic, or metal “spacer” is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
How To Tell If You Need A Hip Replacement
This is a very big surgery to undergo and it will definitely change your life so it is best to consider all other options before getting a hip replacement. The process of making this decision typically begins with a referral by your doctor to visit an orthopedic surgeon for an initial evaluation on whether you are a candidate or not. There is no age or weight limitations, basically, anyone can get this surgery. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total hip replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total hip replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from young teenagers with arthritis to elderly patients with arthritis. There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend a hip replacement. People who would benefit from hip replacement surgery often have these symptoms:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
- Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports
How Do You Recover From Hip Replacement Surgery?
A successful recovery should always be the top priority. The success of your surgery will depend greatly on how well you take care of yourself and how well you follow your surgeon’s instructions. Since you just had surgery you will have stitches or staples running along your hip. The stitches or staples will have to be left alone for 2 weeks after surgery. Avoid getting the wound wet until it has thoroughly sealed and dried. A lot of people report having some loss of appetite for several weeks after surgery, don’t be alarmed this is totally normal. It is also recommended to have A balanced diet, heavy in iron to help you heal better and stay strong. you must also be sure to drink plenty of water and exercise daily but wait a few weeks after surgery. You should be able to resume your normal life in 3 to 6 weeks following the surgery. Some discomfort with activity and at night is common for several weeks.
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