Thousands of people had undergone hip replacement surgery to repair hip joints that have been damaged by degenerative diseases or injury. Though it may seem like a drastic surgery, techniques have been perfected over many years providing superior results and a new lease on life for many people.

What Is Hip Replacement?

A hip replacement surgical procedure removes damaged areas of the hip joint and replaces them with high-tech plastic and metal parts. The surgery is often done on older people who suffer from osteoarthritis, a degenerative bone disease, when the disease has progressed to such an extent that other methods of treatment no longer provide relief. Hip replacement surgery can restore mobility to the joint and provide complete relief of pain.

The Procedure

In this procedure, an incision is made at the side of the hip and the damaged femoral head is removed. The head is then replaced with a prosthetic part made of metal or ceramic. This femoral head is fitted in a metal cup in the socket off the hip. Ceramic, metal or plastic spacers are fitted between the head and cup to provide a smooth surface for movement.

Risks of Surgery

As with any surgery, hip replacement includes the risk of reactions from anesthesia, infection of the wound and nerve damage at the incision site. In addition, blood clots can form that can be life threatening. In some cases, leg length inequality can result when removal of damaged bone affects the biomechanics of the hip joint. Dislocation of the hip joint and loosening of the implant can also occur. These problems can require further surgery.

Hip Replacement Recovery Time

Recovery from hip replacement surgery generally includes a few days stay in the hospital after the procedure. Pain medications are prescribed to keep the patient comfortable. Walking is encouraged the day after surgery, and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles of the hip is generally begun immediately. Therapy continues for several weeks after surgery. The incision wound heals completely in about two weeks. Continued exercise will help to strengthen the muscles that support the new hip. You avoid falls to prevent damage to your new hip implant. High-impact activities are generally not advised after getting a hip replacement.