Total Hip Replacement

About Hip replacement

Your hips provide a stable base of support for your body. They are strong enough to carry your body's full weight. They allow you to walk, run, climb stairs, bend and twist. A painful hip makes it harder to enjoy an active life. A hip that is damaged or worn out can’t take the daily demands it once did.

Total hip replacement is surgery to remove the parts of the hip that are damaged and replace them with new parts. This can ease your pain and get you moving again. Hip replacement is one of the most common and successful surgeries.

The Procedure

In total hip replacement surgery, the surgeon replaces the diseased part of the joint with an artificial joint (prosthesis). First the surgeon makes an incision and finds a safe passage between the muscles and ligaments to reach the hip joint. The head of the thigh bone is replaced with an artificial ball and stem. The pelvic socket is smoothed and lined with a prosthetic cup. The joint is then put back together with the ball fitted into the cup. Once the new joint is in place, the muscles and ligaments are put back to place. Your skin is closed with sutures or staples (staples are metal clips that hold your skin together while the incision heals). The surgery takes about 1 -1,5 hours.

Are you a candidate for Total Hip Replacement?

Here are factors to consider:
  • Does hip pain limit your everyday activities, such as walking or bending?
  • Does the hip pain continue while resting, either day or night?
  • Does stiffness in a hip limit the ability to move or lift the leg?
  • Do you experience no pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy or walking supports?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then Total Hip Replacement is worth exploring.

Post Op Recovery

Rehabilitation starts immediately after your operation. The nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are all involved in the rehabilitation process enabling you to make a full recovery. You should continue the exercises taught to you by the physiotherapist while in hospital and follow the advised precautions. These exercises are to improve the circulation in your legs and strengthen your muscles, particularly around the hip. The muscles and tissues around the hip take at least three months to heal.

The hip joint will regain mobility of its own accord. Walking is encouraged and you should walk as far as is comfortable every day. It is recommended you follow your hip precautions (do not bend past 90 degrees, twist your body or cross your legs) and wear your compression stockings for 6 weeks after your surgery. Your leg may remain swollen for a few weeks in which case you should spend at least half an hour on your bed, morning and afternoon. You should be walking with more strength and come back to your normal activities by 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery.