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Total Hip Replacement

If it is determined that your knee is too worn for a partial knee replacement, a total knee replacement is the best procedure to treat your arthritic knee.

Reasons to consider hip replacement surgery.

The damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or “press-fit” into the bone.

A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head that was removed.

The damaged cartilage surface of the socket (acetabulum) is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place. The position of this cup is critical to the stability and longevity of the hip replacement, and the surgeon at the Hofmann Arthritis Institute are uniquely trained in robotic-assisted surgery to ensure accurate socket placement.

A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.

Total hip replacement is one of the most successful procedures in all medicine. In the vast majority of cases, total hip replacement enables people to live more active lives without debilitating hip pain. Over time, however, a hip replacement can fail for a variety of reasons.

When this occurs, your provider may recommend that you have a second operation to remove some or all of the parts of the original prosthesis and replace them with new ones. This procedure is called revision total hip replacement.

The decision to have hip replacement surgery should be a cooperative one made by you, your family, your primary care provider, and your orthopedic surgeon. The process of making this decision often begins with a referral by your primary care provider to an orthopedic surgery specialist for an initial evaluation.

To help you decide if hip replacement is right for you, talk with your provider. You can ask him or her:

  • What are the benefits of hip revision surgery?
  • What are the downsides to hip revision surgery?
  • Are there other options besides hip revision surgery?
  • What happens if I do not have hip revision surgery?

Your orthopedic surgery provider may recommend a hip replacement revision to replace a damaged artificial hip joint with a new one. Your provider will only consider a hip replacement revision if other treatment options have not improved your condition. Your provider may recommend a hip replacement revision to replace a hip prosthesis that is damaged due to:

  • Recurrent dislocation of the original artificial joint
  • Infection of the original artificial joint causing chronic hip pain and swelling
  • Loosening of the original artificial joint causing hip pain and reduced range of motion.
  • A bone fracture that occurs around the components of an implant.
  • Implant failure, component fracture or recall of implants.
  • Reaction to metal ions from the break down and wearing of metal implants. This is more common with metal-on-metal devices.

People who have completed hip replacement surgery and encountered difficulties or complications at any time after the surgery are candidates for revision hip surgery. The recommendation will be determined by a highly trained orthopedic surgery provider after reviewing a candidate’s medical history and evaluating the risks and benefits.

After surgery, most people stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. While you are in the hospital, you will get:

  • Medications to treat your pain
  • Antibiotic medications to prevent infections
  • Medications to prevent blood clots in the legs
  • Special boots or stockings to prevent blood clots in the legs
  • Physical therapy – Most people are able to stand and walk (with help) on the day of surgery. The physical therapist will teach you exercises to make the muscles around your hip stronger. He or she will work with you on bending, walking, and climbing stairs so that you can move normally.

The majority of patients go home. Some people stay in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility for a short time in order to get stronger before going home. Wherever you go, you will need to do your exercises and have physical therapy.

Most people can do their usual activities again within 3 to 6 months. Your orthopedic surgery provider will tell you if there are any activities that you should avoid.