Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is an effective treatment for a damaged hip joint. This article will reveal insights into the procedure, the different types and approaches, who qualifies for the procedure, and pre and post-operative considerations. From understanding the surgical process to learning about recovery expectations, you’ll gain essential knowledge for informed decision-making and preparation.

If you’re considering hip replacement surgery or seeking expert orthopedic care, Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine, serving Granville and Coshocton, Ohio, offers compassionate and specialized treatment. Schedule a consultation today to explore your options and embark on a journey towards improved mobility and quality of life.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is a procedure used to replace damaged bone and cartilage of the hip joint with prosthetic parts. It is also referred to as hip arthroplasty.

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The “ball” part is located on the head of the femur, and the “socket” is located on the pelvis bone. A hip replacement can be used to replace one or both parts of the hip joint. The purpose of a hip replacement is to relieve pain and restore function.

Types of Hip Replacement Surgeries

There are different types of hip replacement surgeries available. They include the following:

  • Total hip replacement (also called total hip arthroplasty): The ball and the socket are replaced.
  • Partial hip replacement: Only one side of the hip joint is replaced.
  • Bilateral hip replacement: Both sides of the hip are replaced.
  • Revision surgery: This can be done if there is a failure in the prosthesis or if it has worn out.

Hip surgery can also be categorized according to the hip replacement surgeon’s approach to the hip. Three ways the surgeon can access the hip joint are:

  • Anterior Hip Replacement: Accessed from the front
  • Lateral Hip Replacement: Accessed from the side
  • Posterior Hip Replacement: Accessed from the back

Reasons for Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is recommended to relieve pain and restore function. You may benefit from hip replacement surgery if you experience any of the following:

  • You have hip pain that makes it difficult to do everyday activities
  • You have hip pain while resting
  • You have limited movement in the hip
  • Other non-surgical methods do not provide relief
A woman recovering with a walker after her hip replacement surgery in Granville, OH.

Who Qualifies for Surgery?

Your suitability for surgery primarily depends on your hip disability. There are generally no age or weight restrictions that would prevent you from having surgery.

What to Expect Before the Procedure

Before the procedure, your hip replacement surgeon will want to know that you’re in good health. You should also do some preparations for post-surgery. Some of the preparations before hip surgery could include the following:

  • Medical Evaluation: Before hip replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may request a thorough physical examination from your primary care physician. This examination ensures that you are in good health and fit for the surgery and subsequent recovery process. Patients with underlying chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or kidney disease, may require additional evaluation by specialists like cardiologists or nephrologists to assess their suitability for surgery.
  • Tests: Various tests, including blood and urine samples, an electrocardiogram (EKG), and chest X-rays, may be necessary to assist in the planning of your surgery. These tests provide crucial information about your overall health status and help identify any potential risks or complications.
  • Preparing Your Skin: Inform your healthcare provider about any skin issues or irritations on the side planned for surgery. Cuts, scratches, abrasions, rashes, or insect bites can increase the risk of infection. If an infection is present, your surgery may need to be postponed.
  • Medications: It’s essential to disclose all medications you are currently taking to your orthopedic surgeon. They or your primary care doctor will provide guidance on which medications should be stopped before surgery and which ones can be continued.
  • Weight Loss: If you are overweight, your healthcare provider may recommend losing weight before surgery. Shedding excess weight can reduce stress on your new hip joint and potentially lower the risks associated with the procedure.
  • Dental Evaluation: While infections after hip replacement are rare, they can occur if bacteria enter your bloodstream. Major dental procedures should be completed before surgery to minimize this risk. Additionally, routine dental cleanings should be postponed for several weeks after surgery.
  • Urinary Evaluation: Individuals with a history of recent or frequent urinary infections should undergo a urological evaluation before hip replacement surgery. Men with prostate issues should consider completing necessary treatments before undergoing the procedure.
  • Social Planning: Following surgery, you may require assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, shopping, bathing, and laundry for several weeks. If you live alone, a social worker or discharge planner can help arrange for support at home or a short stay in an extended care facility.
  • Home Planning: Modifications to your home can facilitate a smoother recovery. These may include installing safety bars in the shower, securing handrails on stairways, and ensuring stable furniture with appropriate cushions and heights. Removing tripping hazards like loose carpets and cords is also important.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Hip replacements are often considered outpatient procedures, although you may be required to stay for 1 or 2 nights. The hip replacement procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours.

Your surgeon will remove the femoral head and replace it with a metal stem in the center of the femur. The stem will either be cemented or press fit. Then, a metal or ceramic ball will be attached to the stem.

The damaged cartilage will be removed from the socket and replaced with a metal socket. The surgeon will then insert a metal spacer between the ball and socket to allow smooth movement.

Following the procedure, you will wait in the recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. You will then either be taken to your hospital room or allowed to go home.

Hip Replacement Recovery

Your road to recovery begins 24 hours after surgery. A physical therapist will give you exercises to maintain mobility in your hip joint. Within a day or two after surgery, you should be able to walk with the assistance of a cane or walker. Physical therapy will continue throughout your recovery as you regain strength and further mobility.

Full recovery is expected between 2 and 8 weeks after surgery. This will largely depend on your health before surgery.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you ready to take the next step towards reclaiming your mobility and comfort? Whether you’re considering hip replacement surgery or seeking expert orthopedic care, Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine in Granville and Coshocton, OH, is here to help. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your treatment options and begin your journey towards a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Medically reviewed by Brad L. Bernacki, MD