Classification: orthopedic; prosthetic therapeutic operation
Anesthesia type: General, spinal and epidural
Duration: 1 – 2 hours with additional 2 hours in the recovery room and 4 nights at the hospital.
Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. Hip replacement surgery can be performed as a total replacement or a hemi (half) replacement. Such joint replacement orthopedic surgery is generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain or in some hip fractures. A total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty) consists of replacing both the acetabulum and the femoral head while hemi-arthroplasty generally only replaces the femoral head. Hip replacement is currently the most common orthopedic operation,
Total hip replacement is most commonly used to treat joint failure caused by osteoarthritis. Other indications include rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis and traumatic arthritis. The aims of the procedure are pain relief and improvement in hip function.
Risks and complications in hip replacement are similar to those associated with all joint replacements. They can include dislocation, loosening, impingement, infection, osteolysis, metal sensitivity, nerve palsy and pain.
Blood clots in the leg veins are one of the most common complications of hip replacement surgery. These clots can be life threatening if they break free and travel to your lungs. Your orthopedic surgeon will outline a prevention program, which may include periodic elevation of your legs, lower leg exercises to increase circulation, support stockings, and medication to thin your blood and it is available now in oral forms.
Leg length inequality
The leg can be lengthened or shortened during surgery. Unequal legs are the most common complaint by patients after surgery with over lengthening the most common problem. Sometimes the leg seems long immediately after surgery when in fact both are equal length. An arthritic hip can develop contractures that make the leg behave as if it is short. When these are relieved with replacement surgery and normal motion and function are restored, the body feels that the limb is now longer than it was. If the legs are truly equal, the sense of inequality resolves within a month or two of surgery. If the leg is unequal, it will not. A shoe lift for the short leg, or in extreme cases, a corrective operation may be needed.
- Acetabular cup
- Femoral component
- Articular interface
Most patients begin exercising their hip the day after surgery. A physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to strengthen your leg and restore hip movement to allow walking with assistance (walker) and other normal daily activities soon after your surgery.
Hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure which replaces one half of the joint with an artificial surface and leaves the other part in its natural state. This class of procedure is most commonly performed on the hip after a subcapital (just below the head) fracture of the neck of the femur (a hip fracture). The procedure is performed by removing the head of the femur and replacing it with a metal or composite prosthesis