A total hip replacement (hip arthroplasty) is surgery to resect a damaged hip joint and replace it with a new prosthetic piece from ceramic, metal or plastic. A prosthetic implant relieves pain and improves hip function. Most of my patients turn to hip surgery when non-surgical treatments do not remedy hip pain, or the discomfort interferes with their daily functions.
Damage to the hip joint is largely due to a degenerative bone disease called arthritis. In addition, different types of arthritic conditions affecting the hip include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteonecrosis. Osteoarthritis is responsible for damage to smooth cartilage that lines the bone’s ends and facilitates joint movement. Rheumatoid arthritis, another arthritic form, arises from an overly active, hostile immune system that triggers inflammation and significantly damages cartilage. Finally, osteonecrosis is a form of arthritis that occurs due to insufficient blood supply to the ball of the hip joint. As a result, when a fracture or dislocation happens, the entire joint will become deformed.
During a total hip replacement surgery, damaged bone, tissue and cartilage is removed and replaced with artificial materials. I will remove the damaged femoral head, and a cobalt chrome or titanium stem is placed into the top part of the femur. The stem can be placed with or without cement for fixation. The quality of the bone, the patient's age and the size of the canal of the femur will be considered before the technique is decided on. A ball made of either metal or ceramic material is then placed on the stem to replace the femoral head. Any damaged cartilage is removed from the surface of the socket before it is replaced with a metal socket. This socket is placed as a press-fit component without cement for fixation. A plastic or polyethene liner separates the ball and cup. This allows for smooth movement in the joint.
You can start walking on the day of the hip replacement surgery or the following day. You can begin engaging in routine activities within three to six weeks after surgery.
Most patients spend 1-3 days in hospital after surgery.
You cannot cross your legs for eight weeks and bring your knee up to your hip. Also, you cannot lean forward when sitting cross-legged and avoid turning in your feet.