If your hip is damaged due to arthritis, hip fracture or any other conditions, daily activities such as walking, getting in and out of a car /chair, getting your socks on may become painful. You may get pain even at rest.
If exercise, walking aids and painkillers are not helpful you may need to consider hip replacement to restore mobility and get relief from pain. The surgery replaces the worn out hip joint with an artificial ball and socket joint made of metal and plastic so that you can get back to a pain free normal life again.
Hip joint is the most flexible joint in the body, its function id dependent on the coordination of muscles, tendons, bones and nerves.
Hip pain can be caused due to several conditions:
-Injury to the hip joint
-Normal wear and tear from years of use
-Hip Fracture or dislocation due to a fall
If your GP thinks that joint replacement is the best treatment for you he/she will refer you to an Orthopaedic specialist who specializes in hip replacement surgery such as my self. I will examine your hip joint and get X rays done of your hip and discuss the findings with you and develop a treatment plan about how the surgery can best help your symptoms. If you have any pre-existing medical problems you should discuss them with me.
What are the benefits of hip replacement surgery?
Relief from pain is the greatest benefit and the main reason for hip replacement, it also improves mobility, muscle strength and gait. It improves ability to walk, climb stairs and maintain an active life style.
What are the risks of surgery?
-Injury to nerve and blood vessels
-Stiffness and instability of the joint
-Need for additional surgeries
I addition patients who suffer with insulin dependent diabetes, malnourishment, hemophilia or those who have had previous joint infections are at increased risk of infection. Please make sure you get in touch with the hospital if you experience any of the above problems after the surgery.
Joint replacement has a life span of 15-20 years dependent on the activity level and life style of the patients. Hip revision may be needed if in future the artificial joint becomes painful. You can get more information by reading Hip Revision surgery.
Several factors determine the success of Hip replacement surgery. These include bone quality, muscles and general fitness of the patient and lifestyle. A major contributor to a successful joint replacement is commitment to physiotherapy and rehabilitation effort by the patient.
How do I prepare for the surgery?
In order to achieve a good outcome following surgery you should stay as mobile as possible to maintain muscle strength, as this will help you to rehabilitate quicker after surgery. You will need to attend a pre-assessment clinic to get your blood test done and a health check done to determine fitness for surgery. Depending on the patient’s condition additional tests may be required prior to the surgery.
Please inform the nurse about any medication you taking and any preexisting medical conditions.
One of my colleagues from the Warwick anesthetic group will meet you before surgery. They will explain the different types of anesthesia available and the risks and benefits of the surgery. The spinal or epidural anesthetic is the most common and safe anesthetic used for orthopaedic procedures.
After surgery will be seen by the physiotherapist who will help you with your rehabilitation, teach you exercises to improve your mobility and strengthen your muscles.