Hip replacement surgery

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What is hip replacement surgery?

Total hip arthroplasty, also known as hip replacement surgery, replaces hip joints which have become damaged or worn out. A prosthesis (artificial joint) will be used as a replacement. These are either made of plastic, metal or ceramic depending on your individual requirements and medical history.
Hip replacement surgery is commonly undertaken to address severe arthritis pain and damaged associated with this condition; or following a hip fracture, the likes of which can be sustained as a result of sporting activities.

Forms of arthritis which may affect the hip joint include rheumatoid arthritis, which involves the inflammation of the joint’s synovial lining; traumatic arthritis, which is the result of an injury; and osteoarthritis, the degenerative joint disease.

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What can I expect from the procedure?

After your doctor has answered any questions you may have pertaining to the procedure, and you have discussed your method of anaesthesia with your anaesthetist, you will enter the operating room having fasted for a minimum of eight hours.

The procedure involves your doctor making incisions in the hip area, before removing the hip joint’s damaged parts and installing the prosthesis into the hip joint’s socket. Artificial joint prostheses can be both cemented and cementless – cemented prostheses are attached to the bone using surgical cement, whereas cementless prostheses are designed to attach to the bone via a porous biological ingrowth.

The procedure typically lasts one hour. You will be mobilised on the day of the surgery and will likely be monitored in hospital for two to three days before returning home to rest. Mr Mann will ensure to advise on the best ways to ensure a fast recovery from your treatment.

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Why might I need hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is commonly the chosen course of action when addressing osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis (there are over a hundred different kinds). It is usually decided upon after other forms of treatment – including glucosamine, supportive devices for walking, anti-inflammatory medications, pain medications and physical therapy – have failed to control arthritis pain effectively.

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What is the recovery time?

While hip replacement patients are recognised as recovering faster than knee replacement patients, it can still take up to six months to make a full recovery. There is, however, a wide range in the recovery time experienced by different patients, with some patients making a recovery in as little as a month.

Walking aids are used in the early recovery stages, while physical therapy of various intensity levels plays a big part throughout. Mr Mann will advise and support, and answer any questions you may have about the recovery process.

If you want to know more about hip replacement surgery or have any questions, feel free to fill out the contact form below and we’ll get back to you.

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Postoperative period and recovery

Remember that below is a guide to recovery and that everyone heals at different rates and some people do take longer. Use this information to help you understand your condition, possible treatment and recovery. The timeframes given below are a minimum, it is important that you appreciate this when considering surgery as your healing and recovery may take longer.

After your operation, a routine enhanced programme of recovery will commence. The main parallel work streams of this programme are as follows:

Physiotherapy

Mobilisation is commenced on Day One. Gradually there is an increase in the frequency of transfers in and out of bed. This then progresses onto stairs and mobilisation to the toilet/shower and back. Before discharge, the patient is well rehearsed in the exercise routine and the knee should bend to at least ninety degrees. It is extremely important to remain well motivated and perform your exercises after discharge to fully optimise the range of motion of the newly replaced knee.

Occupational therapy

Will focus more on activities of daily living, functional transfers and adaptation of the home environment.

Pain control

During the operation, spinal anaesthesia with local infiltration of anaesthetic around the hip is used. After the operation regular oral medication is then used. Ask for extra if required. Before discharge required prescriptions are provided.

Wound therapy

It is perfectly ok to experience an ooze from the wound especially as one mobilises. Your dressing may require changing. Before discharge, the wound should be dry and arrangements will be in place for staple removal by your practice nurse.

Nutrition, fluids and excretion

Immediately after the operation intravenous (directly into the veins) fluids are given. Medications such as routine antibiotics are also given via this route. Urine output is carefully monitored. A bedside commode may be needed during the first postoperative day.

Normal diet is introduced as soon as possible. The urine catheter is removed once mobile. Bowel habit should also return to normal before discharge.

Personal Hygiene

On the first morning after the operation ablutions are performed at the bedside. Showering is then gradually introduced – at first with assistance and then independently.

Associated conditions

Hip osteoarthritis

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and has a protective cartilage cushion which helps to evenly distribute forces throughout the hip joint. By far the commonest type of arthritis to affect the hip is osteoarthritis which is a degenerative condition which often results from progressive wear of the hip.

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