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total hip replacement
is a surgery to replace a diseased or injured hip joint. An artificial ball-and-socket joint is inserted to make a new hip. It can be done by full open surgery or a minimally invasive technique.
The minimally invasive technique only requires one or two tiny incisions and special instruments. People eligible for this surgery are typically:
Younger than 50
Of normal weight
Healthier than those who have the traditional total hip replacement surgery
An incision will be made along your joint. The muscles will be moved aside. The damaged bone and cartilage of the hip joint will be removed. The remaining bone will be prepared for the prosthesis. The new artificial joint will be placed in position. Depending on the type of prosthesis, the doctor may use bone cement to hold one or both parts of the artificial hip firmly to your bone. Lastly, the incision will be closed with stitches or staples.
Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement
This surgery may be done with one or two small incisions, one over the groin and another over the buttock. Special tools are used that fit into these small incisions. In some cases, x-rays will be used to help guide the doctor.
For the one-incision surgery, an incision will be made over the outside of your hip. The muscles and tendons will be moved out of the way. Next, the damaged bone and cartilage of the hip joint will be removed. The remaining bone will be prepared for the prosthesis. The new artificial joint will then be placed in position. Depending on the type of prosthesis, bone cement may be used to hold the artificial hip in place. Lastly, the incision will be closed with staples or stitches.
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may need to:
Walk with help, using a
walker, on the day after surgery.
Be careful. A fall can damage or dislocate the new joint. Do not try to walk without help.
Take medicine to prevent blood clots.
Wear compression boots or stockings.
Begin physical therapy to regain mobility and strength.
Breathe deeply and cough 10-20 times every hour—This will decrease the risk of fluid build-up in the lungs. The fluid can cause
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Keep the incision area clean and dry.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
When seated, place a V-shaped pillow between your legs. This will help you to maintain correct positioning of your hip.
Work with the physical therapist. You will learn how to move your hip and maintain proper alignment. You should also talk to your doctor and physical therapist about ways to prevent dislocations. Depending on your surgery, you may need to avoid crossing your legs, flexing your hips more than 90 degrees, and turning your feet very far inward or outward.
Only take medicines recommended by your doctor. Do not take over-the-counter remedies without your doctor's approval.
Avoid jogging and other high-impact sports. This can also increase wear on the joint, cause it to loosen, and cause pain.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
Antibiotics may be needed before certain dental procedures or surgeries now that you have an artificial joint. This will prevent possible infections from entering the bloodstream. Make sure to let the dentist or doctor know that you have an artificial joint.
Within six weeks, you should be able to resume normal, light activities. A replacement hip typically lasts 10-15 years.
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Antibiotic prophylaxis for patients after total joint replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Published February 2009. Accessed May 6, 2013.
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Hip fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
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Minimally invasive total hip replacement surgery. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 2007. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Pagnano MW, Trousdale RT, Meneghini RM, Hanssen AD. Slower recovery after
two-incision than mini-posterior-incision total hip arthroplasty. Surgical technique.
J Bone Joint Surg Am
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Questions and answers about hip replacement. National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated April 2012. Accessed May 6, 2013.
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Frontera: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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Who needs a hip replacement? NIH SeniorHealth website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed May 6, 2013.
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