A hip replacement is often required due to damage by arthritis, a fracture, or other conditions; daily tasks such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. Adults of any age can be considered for a hip replacement, although most are done on people between 60 and 80. A modern artificial hip joint is designed to last for at least 15 years. Most people have a significant reduction in pain and improvement in their range of movement.
Hip replacement surgery involves removing degraded and damaged cartilage or bone within the hip joint, which is then replaced using metal or ceramic structures. This relieves the symptoms of inflamed and painful joints caused by arthritis.
What Are the Benefits of Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery is a major form of surgery, which entails the replacement of an essential and large joint in the body. Should it be the necessary and required option, however, there are several benefits that patients may well experience, including:
- Pain relief
- Improved movement, strength and coordination of the torso and leg
- The ability to walk, climb stairs and maintain an active lifestyle in greater comfort
When is Hip Replacement Surgery Necessary?
Hip replacement surgery is usually necessary when the hip joint is worn and damaged to reduce mobility and patients are in pain even whilst resting. As hip replacement is major surgery, it is usually only recommended if other treatments have not helped reduce pain or improve mobility. Consulting your doctor could help determine which treatment option is the most suitable for you and alleviate your symptoms and eliminate any further complications.
Symptoms That May Suggest Hip Replacement Surgery is Required
The signs and symptoms someone may be experiencing vary depending on the injury to the hip. They may include:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
- Pain in the hip that continues when resting
- Stiffness that restricts movement in the hip
- Unsuccessful pain relief from anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy, or walking supports
- Reduced general mobility
- Pain prevents you from sleeping
- Pain in rainy weather
Hip Replacement Surgery Procedure Explained
This procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The damaged femoral head (top of the thigh bone) is removed and a metal stem is put into the thigh bone and a metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem to replace the femoral head. The socked’s degraded and damaged cartilage surface is removed, a metal socked is put in place, and a spacer is inserted between the ball and socket to allow for smooth and comfortable movement. Physiotherapy will be required following surgery, and patients will usually have to stay overnight.
What Are The Risks of Hip Replacement Surgery?
As with any other procedure, there are some risks associated with hip replacement surgery which may include:
- Blood clots
- Change in leg length
- Loosening of the joint
- Nerve damage
How Much Does Hip Replacement Surgery Cost?
- In the UK, when done privately, hip replacement surgery costs around or more than £12,500.
- This treatment is available on the NHS for those who meet the criteria, however there is a waiting list of up to 18 weeks.