When the hip joint, secondary to any cause, becomes excessively painful, your healthcare provider or Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Karachi would recommend a hip replacement surgery. But what exactly is this procedure, and what does it involve? Read on to find out:
What is hip replacement?
The procedure of replacement of hip joint with an artificial metal or plastic joint, is known as hip joint replacement. An orthopedic expert can opt for a total or partial hip replacement, based on the condition of the joint, and the causative factor. Hip replacement surgery, also known as, hip arthroplasty is the option when the activities of daily living become difficult for the patient to perform, and the non-surgical measures have failed.
Total hip replacement refers to the resurfacing of the socket with replacement of the ball-head of femur. For arthritic conditions, total hip replacement is the treatment of choice.
Partial hip replacement is when the head of the femur alone is replaced, within the body’s own hip socket. For people without any history of arthritis, this option can be considered.
Why is hip replacement done?
A number of conditions are treated with hip replacement surgery. These include:
- Osteoarthritis: causes damage to the hip joint through extreme wear-and-tear. The cartilage that reduces the friction between bones is worn down secondary to osteoarthritis, thereby causing pain.
- Injury: traumatic injury, particularly due to falls in old age, or vehicular accidents can end up damaging the hip joint, mandating hip replacement.
- Osteonecrosis: when the blood supply to the hip joint is interrupted, the bones deform and collapse. This painful condition makes the joint movement very painful, unless replacement is done.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis erode the cartilage between the bones secondary to inflammation. Thus, similar to osteoarthritis, there is extreme wear-and-tear, making movement extremely painful for the patient.
What does the surgery involve?
During the standard hip replacement surgery, the patient is given general or spinal anesthesia, and an incision is made at the hip. Thereafter, the ball portion of the femur bone is removed with a saw, and an artificial ball is cemented in its place. For complete hip replacement, the doctor then implants the prosthetic socket after removing the damaged cartilage, into the hip bone. After the surgery, a drain is put in place to remove any collected fluid.
In recent years, minimally invasive technique is also being followed for the procedure allowing doctors to perform the same steps with small cuts, thereby, shortening the recovery period.
The post-surgical period needs care and physical therapy to speed up the recovery. The latter is started a day later. Physical therapists help with exercises to mobilize the joint and regain the use of muscles.
At home, patients are directed to avoid bending down, or reaching up too much. Additionally, activities like stair climbing are kept to a minimum, and to avoid falls, the rooms are preferred to be kept clutter free. Patients are directed to use elevated toilet seat, and for normal sitting, use firm seats with straight-backs.
The idea of these measures is to prevent the hip from bending too much, and therefore, recliner use is strictly forbidden. Activities like driving and exercise should only be started after the go-ahead from the healthcare provider. During this recovery period, patient should not cross the legs, and sleep with a pillow between the legs.
If done right by professionals like Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Islamabad more than 85 percent of hip replacements are good enough for twenty plus years. The improvements seen in the last few decades in surgical technique and joint material make it possible for the patient to have a healthy and pain-free hip joint.