The demand for hip replacement surgery has increased rapidly in the last ten years. According to the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, globally and every year, more than a quarter of a million patients with severely deteriorated hip joint are benefitted with satisfactory outcomes after a hip replacement surgery. The reason is progress in surgical management and improved pre and post-operative care.
Hip joint can be damaged by fracture, sudden fall, arthritis or other conditions, which causes severe pain and difficulty in performing normal daily activities such as walking, standing, or getting in and out of a chair. The hip joint can feel so still and painful that even sleeping and resting may become difficult. When the damage is such that conservative treatment methods fail to give further relief, hip replacement becomes the last and best alternative to improve the quality of life in such patients.
The hip jointis a synovial type of joint known as ball-and-socket joint. It is one of the largest joints in the body that bears the whole body weight, including the exertion of the hip and leg muscles, allowing you to do the activities like walking, running, and jumping. It is also one of the most flexible joints that enables the greatest range of motion just like your shoulder joint, when compared to the other joints of the body.
Total hip replacement was first performed effectively by Charnley in the 1960's. Hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged hip bone and cartilage with an artificial joint or prosthesis.
Typical steps involved in a total hip replacement are:
Indications for Hip Replacement
Hip replacement is suggested when there is:
Hip Replacement Surgery Contra-Indications
Conditions when hip replacement surgery is not usually suggested:
Candidature of Hip replacement surgery:
Though there is no age or weight related limitation of hip replacement surgery, research has shown that obesity generally causes a higher risk of post-surgery complications. With respect to age, since artificial joints usually last about 15-20 years, if surgery is performed at a younger age, revision surgeries may be required in the later age. Usually, the recommendation for hip replacement is given after weighing potential benefits such as lowering the patient's pain and disability against various risks. Most of the patients who undergo the procedure are between the ages of 50-80 years. Before heading to the surgery, the surgeon evaluates the eligibility of the patients for the procedure. He or she will suggest you some diagnostic tests listed below to assess your eligibility for the hip replacement surgery. Obtaining additional medical opinions from other surgeons may help a patient become certain about the need to undergo a surgery.
Eligibility Assessment for Hip Replacement Surgery
Your orthopedic surgeon will advise you to go for the following tests before the procedure:
Alternatives To Hip Replacement Surgery
Conservative methods are recommended for the patients with hip problems due to osteoarthritis or other conditions.
Few surgical alternatives to total hip replacement exist such as hip osteotomy and Birmingham hip resurfacing.
Complications after Hip Replacement:
About 1 in 9 of all total hip replacements requires revision within 10 years, of which, 70 percent revisions are mostly done due to the wear-related complications. Some of the common post-operative complications are.
Implants used in hip replacement:
The implants used during the hip replacement surgery, are:
However, some patients may require hip resurfacing, where the head and neck of the femur are not removed. Instead, the surgeon resurfaces or sculpts the femoral head to attach with a metal cap for a short term. Hip resurfacing is one of the most successful and popular procedure performed in the male patients under the age of 55.
Exercises after Hip Replacement:
Regular exercises are recommended to improve the normal hip motion and strength and for the gradual return to the everyday activities. The orthopedic surgeon and a physiotherapist recommend some exercises for 30 minutes, 3 times a day, during your early recovery period.
Some of the exercises are:
Bed supported knee bends:
Straight leg raises:
Stand knee raises:
Standing hip abduction:
Standing hip extensions:
Precautions after hip replacement
First of all, it is very important to avoid over-working and putting full weight on the joint during the recovery period. In addition, you should follow some precautions to prevent the unwanted complications, such as: