What Is Hip Replacement Surgery?

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Hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, is often the last line of treatment for hip pain and immobility, once non-surgical treatments such as medication and physical therapy are no longer effective. Damage to the hip joint may be caused by an injury or conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The procedure can help improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore the normal function of the hip joint.

Hip replacement surgery involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage from the hip joint and replacing it with a metal, ceramic, or plastic implant that mimics the natural joint structure. 

Pre-Operative Care For Hip Replacement Surgery

Pre-operative care for hip replacement surgery typically begins several weeks before the scheduled surgery date to ensure that the patient is in the best possible condition for the procedure. The exact pre-operative care plan will vary depending on the patient's individual needs and health status, but in general, it is important to follow all instructions provided by the healthcare team to ensure the best possible outcome from the surgery.


Before Hip Replacement Surgery

The patient will undergo a thorough medical evaluation to assess their overall health and identify any conditions that may increase the risk of complications during or after the surgery. This may include blood tests, imaging studies, and a physical examination.


A balanced diet with adequate protein intake can promote healing and recovery after surgery. The patient may be advised to meet with a nutritionist or dietitian to ensure that they are eating a healthy diet before the procedure. The patient may be advised to perform certain exercises and stretches in the weeks leading up to the surgery to strengthen the muscles around the hip joint and improve flexibility. They may also be referred to a physical therapist for more specialized exercises.


The patient will be instructed to stop taking certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners, in the days leading up to the surgery. Other medications may need to be adjusted or discontinued before the procedure. Smoking can increase the risk of complications during and after surgery. The patient may be advised to quit smoking several weeks before the procedure.


The patient may be advised to make certain modifications to their home, such as installing handrails or shower chairs, to make it easier to move around after the surgery. They may also be instructed to arrange for assistance with daily activities, such as cooking and cleaning, during the recovery period.

How Is Hip Replacement Surgery Done?

Hip replacement surgery is usually done under general or spinal anaesthetic. General anaesthesia puts the patient to sleep for the entire procedure. The patient is awake during spinal anaesthesia, but they have no feeling from the waist down. 

Once the patient is sedated, the surgeon will make an incision in the side or back of the hip to access the hip joint. They will then remove the damaged bone and cartilage from the hip joint and replace them with a metal, ceramic or plastic implant.  The incision is then closed with stitches or staples. The operation takes about two hours. 

There are different types of hip replacement surgery, depending on the needs of the patient. The entire hip joint is replaced with an artificial joint during a total hip replacement. Only the ball portion of the hip joint is replaced during a partial hip replacement (also known as a hemiarthroplasty). The damaged hip joint is capped with a metal implant during hip resurfacing. And a revision hip replacement involves replacing the original implant with a new one when a previous hip replacement has failed.

Post-Operative Care For Hip Replacement Surgery

After the surgery, the patient will be moved to a recovery room, where their vital signs are monitored until the anaesthesia wears off. They will then be transferred to a hospital room, where they receive pain medication and physical therapy to help regain mobility and strength in the hip joint. The length of their hospital stay will depend on their individual circumstances and recovery progress.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation will be an essential part of the recovery process, and the patient’s doctor will provide them with instructions on how to care for their hip joint after surgery, including how to manage pain and avoid complications. It may take several weeks or months to fully recover from hip replacement surgery and return to normal activities.

What Are The Benefits Of Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery can significantly reduce or eliminate hip pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or hip fractures. The surgery can improve mobility and restore the normal function of the hip joint, allowing patients to perform activities of daily living with greater ease.

Overall, hip replacement surgery can be an effective treatment option for individuals who are experiencing significant hip pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility that is affecting their daily activities and quality of life. Hip replacement surgery is a long-term solution that can be effective for up to 20 years or more. 

What Are The Risks Of Hip Replacement Surgery?

Like any surgery, hip replacement surgery carries some risks. The bone around the implant may fracture during or after surgery, requiring additional treatment. There is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which may require additional treatment, such as antibiotics or surgery. Surgery can increase the risk of blood clots, which can be dangerous if they travel to the lungs or other organs. Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in the implant. 

The surgery may damage nerves or blood vessels in the hip area, causing numbness, weakness, or other complications. The artificial hip joint may become dislocated, especially during the first few months after surgery. Over time, the implant may become loose, causing pain and requiring additional surgery to repair or replace the implant. 

Main Considerations For Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a long-term solution for individuals suffering from hip pain and immobility due to injury or conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The surgery involves replacing the damaged bone and cartilage in the hip joint with a metal, ceramic, or plastic implant to restore the normal function of the hip joint and improve mobility. Hip replacement surgery can improve the overall quality of life for individuals suffering from significant hip pain and immobility, but does carry some risks which could complicate recovery. 

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