Hip replacements are usually performed by making a cut over the side of the hip and then cutting out the affected bone and replacing it with an artificial part (prosthesis). Some surgeons use minimally invasive techniques. This means that they make just one or two very small cuts instead of one long cut and use specially designed surgical instruments and telescopes. It is thought that there may be less blood loss, less pain and quicker healing with this technique but it is not proven. The main reason for having the operation is when you experience a lot of pain and stiffness that cannot be helped by other treatments. The pain and stiffness can affect your ability to walk, to climb stairs, to get out of a chair and to undertake normal everyday household activities. Hip replacement is surgery for people with severe hip damage. The most common cause of damage is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can interfere with your daily activities. If other treatments such as physical therapy, pain medicines, and exercise haven’t helped, hip replacement surgery might be an option for you.
The hip replacement surgery itself takes about two hours.
During this surgery, you are given a general anesthetic which makes you totally asleep during the operation. It is also sometimes done under a regional (spinal or epidural) anesthetic, which keeps you awake but completely numb from the waist down. To be precise, people who have a spinal anesthetic do better following their hip replacement surgery.
Full recovery from a hip replacement takes about four to six months. Keep in mind that your physical therapy and strengthening exercises will help you gain greater mobility and ensure an easier recovery following surgery. It is highly recommended that you continue therapy treatment for the recommended time frame prescribed by your physical therapist.