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Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement is a step-by-step surgery to replace the hip socket and the ball at the top of the thighbone (femur).

Doctors use metal, ceramic, or plastic replacement parts. The parts may be attached to the bones in one of two ways. They may be:

  • Cemented to the bone.
  • Uncemented. These parts have a porous coating that the bone grows into.

Your doctor may use regional anesthesia. This means you can't feel the area of the surgery. You'll have medicine that makes you unaware and lightly asleep. Or a doctor may use general anesthesia. This means you'll be asleep during surgery. Which type of anesthesia you get depends on your doctor and your overall health. Your doctor might also ask what you prefer.

Hip replacement surgery is done through one or two cuts (incisions). The cuts may be toward the front (anterior) of your hip. Or they may be on the side or toward the back (posterior). Your doctor will talk with you about which type of surgery might be best for you.

Why is total hip replacement done?

Total hip replacement surgery is usually done when hip pain and loss of function caused by osteoarthritis become severe and when treatment no longer relieves pain. Hip replacement is sometimes done after a hip fracture.

How is total hip replacement surgery done?

Hip replacement surgery is done through one or two cuts (incisions). The cuts may be toward the front (anterior) of your hip, or they may be on the side or toward the back (posterior). You and your doctor can discuss which surgery is best for you.

You may have anesthesia to block pain and medicine to make you drowsy. Or you may get medicine to make you sleep. After making the incision, your doctor will:

  • Remove worn bone tissue and cartilage from the hip joint.
  • Replace the ball at the upper end of your thighbone (femur).
  • Replace your hip socket with a shell and liner.
  • Fit the ball into the shell and liner to make a new hip joint.

There are two kinds of replacement joints.

  • Cemented joints. The cement fits between the new joint and the bone.
  • Uncemented joints. These have a metal coating with many small openings. The bone is shaped to fit the new joint almost perfectly. At first, there will be some small spaces between the bone and the new joint. Over time, the bone grows to fill these small openings.

Sometimes a doctor uses a cemented ball and an uncemented socket.

Your doctor can tell you which type of new hip joint is best for you.

What can you expect as you recover from total hip replacement surgery?

On the day of surgery, you'll learn how to get in and out of bed. You'll also learn how to walk with a walker, crutches, or a cane. By the time you leave the hospital, you'll be able to safely sit down and stand up, dress yourself, use the toilet, and bathe.

You'll also start physical therapy. Your therapist will teach you exercises to help you get stronger. You'll learn ways to move your body without dislocating your hip.

During the first week or so after surgery, you will need less and less pain medicine. For a few weeks after surgery, you will probably take medicine to prevent blood clots.

Your doctor will tell you when you can walk on your own, drive, return to work, and get back to other activities.

It usually takes a few months to get back to full activity.

Find hip care in Allen County

To schedule an appointment in Allen County, call the Ortho NorthEast office at 260-484-8551 or click below to request an appointment.

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Find hip care outside of Allen County

Scheduling an appointment with an orthopedic expert outside of Allen County is easy. Click the button to view PPG – Orthopedics locations.

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