A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure wherein the damaged bone and cartilage of the hip is removed and replaced with an artificial implant or prosthetic components. It is also known as total hip arthroplasty. This procedure is performed to relieve pain and disability most commonly for patients with osteoarthritis, and for damage from other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, necrosis and trauma or injury.
A hip replacement surgery may be considered for those patients who hip joint has been severely damaged. This can either be due to conditions like arthritis, sever injury or trauma, or any other disease that may cause damage to the hip joint. The following symptoms may present a need for a hip replacement surgery:-
The following tests and diagnostic methods are used in order to diagnose problems with the hip bone:
A 10-12 inch incision is made, usually at the side or back of the hip to expose the hip bone. The surgeon dislocates the joint and removes the femur from the socket (acetabelam) in the pelvis. The damaged femoral head is cut off and the acetabelam is reshaped. The acetabular cup prosthesis is placed into the reshaped socket. Next, the surgeon puts a rounded acetabular insert inside the cup to facilitate smooth movement of the joint. The femur bone is inserted with a prosthetic femoral stem which is a narrow, tapered metal shaft that fits several inches into the bone. The top of the femoral stem is then attached with a prosthetic ball that replaces the femoral head. The doctor checks for ease of motion and dislocation and X-rays are taken to make sure that the components are properly sized and positioned. The incision is then closed with the help of stitches or staples.
Total hip replacement is a major operation and there are certain risks associated with the same.
The surgery is usually 2-4 hours long. The patient is then taken to a recovery room and observed for hours. The patient should notify the doctor immediately if numbness or a tingling sensation is felt. The patient is them transferred to a hospital room and is discharged in 3-5 days. Minor physical therapy is usually started on the first day itself, gradually moving on to activities like walking and climbing. Physical therapy and medications are continued once the patient is home as well.