1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Considering Hip Replacement Surgery?

What You Need to Know About Hip Replacement

By

Updated March 27, 2014

Hip replacement surgery the second most common joint replacement procedure, closely following knee replacements. Many people have hip arthritis, but it can be difficult to know when the right time to have a hip replacement surgery is. Furthermore, there is confusion about what to expect from hip replacement surgery. Do you have questions? Look no further. You can find all you need to know about hip replacement surgery right here.

1. Hip Arthritis

hip replacement surgery is a treatment option for arthritis
Image © Medical Multimedia Group

The word 'arthritis' means 'inflammation of the joint.' Most people think of arthritis as the wearing away of cartilage in a joint -- this is the end result of inflammation within the joint. Over time, the inflammation can lead to cartilage loss and exposed bone, instead of a normal, smooth joint surface.

The most common type of hip arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is often referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis, and it results in the wearing away of the normal smooth cartilage until bare bone is exposed. Other types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and lupus arthritis.

2. Am I Ready for Hip Replacement?

hip replacement surgery
Image © Medical Multimedia Group

Hip replacement surgery is performed when the hip joint has reached a point when painful symptoms can no longer be controlled with non-operative treatments. In a hip replacement procedure, your surgeon removes the damaged joint surface and replaces it with an artificial implant.

A total hip replacement is a major surgery, and deciding to have the surgery done is a big decision. Here are some signs to look for to help you decide if the time is right, or not right, for knee replacement surgery.

3. Alternatives to Hip Replacement

Treatment of hip arthritis should begin with the most basic options and progress to the more involved, which may include surgery. Not all treatments are appropriate for every patient.

Hip replacement is generally reserved for patients who have tried all of the other treatments and are still left with significant pain during normal activities. Patients who have occasional pain, are able to participate in athletic activities, or have not tried non-operative treatments are probably not ready for a hip replacement. Non-operative treatment options include:

4. How Long Does Hip Replacement Last?

Hip replacement surgery is a treatment for severe hip arthritis. Most patients understand that hip replacements can wear out over time, but exactly how long is a hip replacement supposed to last?

5. Hip Replacement Implants

Hip replacement surgery removes the damaged joint lining and replaces the joint surfaces with an artificial implant that functions similar to a normal hip. These implants will wear out over time, and hip replacements are done infrequently in younger patients because of the concern of the implant wearing out too quickly.

Hip replacement implants have been modified in order to provide the best possible functioning with long-lasting results. This effort to perfect hip replacement implants is constantly taking place. Some newer implants have promise, others may not turn out to be better.

6. Steps of a Hip Replacement Surgery

hip replacement surgery
Image © Medical Multimedia Group

When a hip replacement is performed, the bone and cartilage on the ball-and-socket hip joint is removed. This is performed using precise instruments to create surfaces that can accommodate the implant perfectly. An artificial hip replacement implant is then placed in to function as a new hip joint.

7. Risks of a Hip Replacement

bleeding can occur as a risk of hip replacement
Image © Nancy Louie

Hip replacement surgery has become quite common, but there are still risks. Fortunately, well over 90% of patients who undergo hip replacement surgery have good results.

You should have a thoughtful discussion with your doctor prior to hip replacement surgery and make sure to have your questions answered.

  • Questions to ask before hip replacement surgery

    Potential risks of hip replacement surgery include:

  • 8. Hip Replacment Rehabilitation

    rehab is necessary after hip replacement surgery
    Image © David Peeters

    Hip replacement surgery is usually very successful, but the success of the procedure is partly due to the rehabilitation period that follows the surgery. For patients to expect a good result from hip replacement surgery, they must be an active rehab participant.

    Rehabilitation after hip replacement begins immediately. Patients will work with a physical therapist as soon as the surgical procedure has been performed. The emphasis in the early stages of rehab is to maintain motion of the hip replacement and to ensure that the patient can walk safely.

    9. Need A Hip Replacement?

    Considering hip replacement surgery? If yes, sign up for this 7 week e-course. Each week, you'll receive a newsletter devoted to issues surrounding total hip replacement surgery. Topics covered include why hip replacements are done, alternatives to surgery, how the surgery is performed, and what the rehab is like. At the end of 7 weeks, you'll have a firm understanding of this procedure.

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

    We comply with the HONcode standard
    for trustworthy health
    information: verify here.