Hip replacement surgery is the second most common joint replacement surgery after knee replacement. Most of the people suffer from hip arthritis, but it can be challenging to know when is the right time for hip replacement surgery. Also, there is uncertainty about what you can expect from hip replacement surgery and recovery from surgery.
Total Hip replacement joint surgery is designed to relieve hip pain and improve hip joint function by replacing with the artificial bones in the hip joint. The surgeon replaces the femoral head with an artificial one. This hip prosthesis is spherical and fits very well with a rounded cup prosthesis which becomes the new socket of the hip.
Below is a detailed description of a conventional hip replacement surgery. The actual operation usually takes about two hours. Learn the basics you need to know about hip replacement surgery procedure and recovery.
What is Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip joint replacement is an operation to replace worn or damaged hip joints. The surgeon replaces the joint with a prosthesis. This surgery can be an option after a hip fracture or severe arthritis pain.
Hip replacement is a procedure that allows patients to return to an active, pain-free lifestyle that is normal after hip replacement. In this surgery, surgeons and physical therapists work together to return the patient as quickly and safely as possible.
Different types of arthritis can affect the hip joint:
- Osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults. This disease involves destroying articular cartilage and adjacent bone in the hips.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This type of arthritis causes inflammation of the synovial lining, which produces synovial fluid that may lead to severe pain and stiffness.
- Traumatic arthritis: This arthritis is caused by an injury that damage the hip joint cartilage.
Non- Surgical treatment options include:
- Weight loss
- Change in daily activities
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Joint supplement
If the above non-surgical treatment fails to cure the pain, then surgical treatment is the option.
Pre Operative Treatment:
Before surgery, consult an orthopaedic surgeon. The surgeon will:
- A doctor will explain in detail the procedure and allow you to ask questions that you may have about this procedure.
- In addition to a get a complete medical history, a doctor can conduct a physical examination to ensure that you are in good health before undergoing surgery. It may include a blood test or other diagnostic test such as X-ray MRI.
- Let a doctor know if you are allergic to drugs, latex, plaster and anaesthesia (both local and general).
- Tell a doctor about all the medicines you take. It includes over-the-counter and non-prescription herbal drugs and supplements.
- Tell a doctor if you have had bleeding problems in the past or if you use blood thinners (anticoagulants), aspirin, or other drugs that affect blood clotting. Stop taking this medicine before the surgery.
- Let a doctor know if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
- You are asked to fast for eight hours before surgery.
- Doctor suggest that you meet with a physiotherapist before surgery to discuss rehabilitation.
- If you smoke, stop before surgery. Smoking can delay wound healing and delay recovery.
- Lose weight if you have to.
- Depending on your health status, your provider can order a test or other particular exam.
- A doctor will Examine your hip, and prescribe a range of motion in your joint and the strength of the surrounding muscles before surgery.
- Arrange someone to help around the house for a week.
This preoperative evaluation provides an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the procedure. Remember to find out which medication you should avoid or continue using it a week before surgery.
On the Day of Surgery:
When you register for surgery, you will be asked to undress and wear a hospital gown. You get general anaesthesia or a spinal block, which numbs the lower part of the body.
During the procedure
To replace your hip joint, the surgeon will do the following:
- Hip arthroscopy is sometimes referred to as “hip Scope”, is a minimally invasive hip replacement. The surgeon uses the arthroscope to examine or treat the inside of the hip.
- An arthroscope inserted through a small incision in the body. It contains camera then provides the appearance of the hip joint on the screen. This exploratory operation allows hip surgeons to diagnose the cause of hip pain or other joint problems.
- Some diseases of the hip joint can be treated arthroscopically. In such cases, the surgeon makes additional small incisions in the hip for arthroscopic surgery to provide an access point for needles, scalpels, or other special surgical instruments.
- After anaesthesia, the doctor will pull the hip away from the socket, and the surgeon can place the instrument, to see the entire joint and take the necessary action.
- Two to five small incisions (each less than 1 cm) are made around the hip joint, which aligns with an arthroscopic camera and the necessary instruments. The device is guided with an X-ray machine, in the hip joint. Liquids (sterile saltwater) wash and fill the joint space for a better appearance. Your surgeon will examine the joint before starting specific treatments.
- After the problem is identified, your surgeon places the other small instrument through a separate incision to fix it.
- The surgeon stitches the incisions, and the incisions are closed with a bandage or gauze.
Post Operative Care:
After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area for several hours until your anaesthesia is wearing off. Medical staff monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, alertness, pain or well-being and your need for medication.
Blood Clot Prevention:
- You are discharged on the same day of surgery or the next day, depending on your recovery.
- After surgery, there is an increased risk of clots in the legs. Possible steps to avoid this complication are:
- Initial mobilization: Doctors encourage to sit shortly after surgery and even try to walk with a cane or walking aid. It may be the same day as your operation or the next day.
- Application of Pressure: Both during and after surgery, you can wear elastic compression socks or inflatable air sleeves, similar to lower leg cuffs. This Inflated pressure prevents blood from accumulating in the leg veins and reduces the possibility of blood clots forming.
- Blood Thinner: Your surgeon may prescribe you an oral medication of blood thinner after surgery. Depending on how fast you walk, how active you are, and your overall risk of blood clots, you may need blood thinners for a few weeks after surgery.
Recovering From Hip Replacement Surgery:
In the Hospital
- After hip replacement, you will be observed in the recovery room for several hours and then taken to your hospital room.
- You might be in pain. A doctor will give you medicine to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
- Hospitals usually stay after hip surgery is one night, but some patients stay longer while others return on the day of surgery that depends upon the patient’s recovery.
- Regular exercise to restore hip strength and flexibility is essential for a full recovery. Another crucial element is a gradual return to daily activities.
- During your stay in the hospital, the physiotherapist will work with you. They will wake you up and make you walk with walking aids or canes, train you to climb stairs and give instructions for a gentle home exercise program.
- As soon as you leave the hospital, you will gradually extend the distance covered and return to regular physical activity in three to six weeks.
- Physiotherapy At Home: If you need treatment at home, the doctor will arrange it for you. Usually, patients meet with a physiotherapist twice a week for the first two to three weeks, depending on their environment and home needs.
- Outpatient Physiotherapy: Not necessary if you feel comfortable with the home exercise program. If you want to try it, we recommend that you wait at least two weeks after the operation before you begin.
Recovery at Home
You need to follow your orthopaedic doctor’s instructions at home for the first few weeks after surgery.
- Take care of incisions
- You can remove the surgical dressing after five days. If you have stitches or staples, keep the wound clean and dry until removed – 10 to 14 days after surgery. When bathing, close the incision to prevent it from getting wet.
- Contact the doctor immediately if you see signs of infection. It includes:
- Redness around the incision
- drainage section
- Flu-like symptoms such as fever and cold
How to reduce swelling
- The blood circulation of the affected leg is slow after surgery, resulting in swelling of the calf and ankle. The swelling lasts on average, 12 weeks.
- To reduce swelling, we recommend resting your legs for 15 to 20 minutes four to five times a day. Apply the cold compress to an inflamed or swollen area at least four or five times a day for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Your walking program also helps reduce swelling.
How to prevent blood clots
Physical activity is the key to reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a dangerous blood clot deep in your body. Walking even short distances improves blood circulation. So get up every two hours during the day and walk around the room. Try to bend your ankles when you sit often. Also, make sure to take the prescribed blood thinners.
Symptoms of a blood clot include:
- New or increased swelling of the feet, which does not decrease in the morning or after elevation
- Pain if you touch the calf in a distinct area that does not go away with ice, elevation, and pain relief medications.
If you have these symptoms, contact the doctor immediately.
In the first year after surgery, you will visit an orthopaedic doctor regularly. During this visit, the doctor will take an x-ray and discuss your well-being, your mobility, your new hip function and any problems. A doctor will do the best to heal you well and achieve your recovery goals.
It was reported that the benefits of minimally invasive hip replacement include less soft tissue damage, faster recovery, less pain, and quicker return to normal activities. Like traditional hip surgery, minimally invasive surgery must be performed by a trained and experienced orthopedician. Your orthopedician can talk to you about his experience with minimally invasive hip surgery and the potential risks and benefits of the technique for your care.
Careful precautions and targeted recovery efforts contribute to a smooth and successful overall recovery of the hip. Consider these essential tips when you prepare for hip replacement and subsequent recovery. If you have questions about complete hip replacement or if you want to make an appointment, visit Dr Gopal Reddy here or call us at +91 99492 55522.