Hip Replacement is a surgery commonly performed in Orthopedic practice, wherein the hip joint is changed to a new modular bearing providing painless articulation.
The common indications of a Hip Replacement surgery are:
1. Hip Joint Arthritis- either degenerative or inflammatory pathology.
2. Fracture Neck Femur (upper end of thigh bone)
3. Malformed hip Joint- a disease of the childhood
4. Loss of blood supply (Avascular Necrosis)
The definite indication of Hip Replacement is - Painful hip joint with radiological evidence of joint space obliteration. Only exclusion is Fracture Neck Femur; wherein a partial change of the bearing component may be performed.
1. Will the pain go after surgery ?
After a hip replacement, the pain due to arthritis usually subsides in 4-6 weeks. Thereafter, there may be occasional reminders of pain after unaccustomed activity. If however, the pain re-appears after a prolonged pain free period; or the pain tends to worsen progressively, there is a definite cause for concern. This requires an urgent evaluation by the Orthopedic surgeon.
2. How much time do I need to stay in Hospital; and how much time off work ?
As regards hospital stay, the usual duration is 1 week. The timing of going back to previous level of activity depends upon the type of Hip replacement - Cemented/ Un-cemented; and the quality of bone stock. Usually patients may resume office and sedentary work after 4-6 weeks.
3. What are the chances that I will need a repeat surgery in future ?
The typical longevity of a Hip replacement depends upon- quality of bone/ level of physical activity/ Age/ body weight/ technique of surgery. Most hip replacements survive an average of 15-20 years. However, a large number of variables affecting longevity prevents accurate survival analysis. Individual patient assessment should be done carefully, and the risk- benefit analysis should be explained to the patient before surgery.
4. What precautions I need to take, and for how long ?
The most important of all, are the precautions to be taken by the patient himself. Dislocation of the new joint is a potential risk. extremes of movements should be avoided under all circumstances. The soft tissue healing takes approximately 6 weeks, however, if the hip joint is structurally unstable, or the soft tissue tension is not adequate, precautions need to be taken for a longer time.