Hip Replacement Surgery - Purpose, Procedure, Risks

17 Jul,20

Hip Replacement Surgery is performed to remove damaged, painful hip joints and replace it with artificial implants. The artificial hip replacement implants are either made from metal or plastic. Usually, patients with severe arthritis or damaged hip bones are recommended to go under this surgery. This treatment is prescribed when all other treatment fails to relieve the pain or smoothen the hip movement. This surgery helps a patient to walk or move their hip joint easier. 

Purpose:

There are few conditions which damage the hip joints making it necessary for a person to go under hip replacement surgery. Such conditions include:

  • Osteoarthritis: This condition is caused when Cartilages, which cover the ends of the hip bone and help the joints to move smoothly, wears down over time.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This condition is caused due to an overactive immune system.  In rheumatoid arthritis, a certain type of inflammation occurs, which erodes the cartilage and sometimes also affects the underlying bone. These damages lead to deformed joints and severe pain.
  • Osteonecrosis: It is a condition that can cause the death of the bone cells. In case of the hip joint, it often leads to collapsing the joint surface resulting in an irregular joint surface and subsequent arthritis.  

Hip replacement surgery is considered in the following cases, if:

  • Pain persists despite using medication
  • The joint pain worsens with walking, even after using a cane or walker
  • The severe pain interferes with sleep
  • It restricts normal movement
  • It affects your ability to using stairs
  • It is difficult to change position like standing or sitting 

Procedure:

Hip replacement surgery can be performed in two ways, traditionally or by using minimally-invasive techniques. These two procedures mainly differ in the size of the incision made.

In the case of traditional hip replacement surgery, general anaesthesia is given to relax the muscles. General anaesthesia numbs your whole body and puts you into a temporary deep sleep. Anaesthesia helps a patient stay refrained from feeling any pain occur during the surgery. Alternatively, the joint specialist may give you spinal anaesthetic to prevent pain. The doctor will then make a cut by the side of the hip and move muscles that are connected to the upper thigh bone to expose the hip joint. Then the ball portion of the hip joint is cut and removed. An artificial joint implant is then attached to the thighbone using bone cement or any other material that assures stability of the attachment to the bone joint. Next, the doctor prepares the hipbone surface by removing the damaged cartilage. Then, a prosthetic socket part is attached to that place. The new implanted ball part is inserted into the hip socket and a drain is attached to drain fluids. The joint specialist then re-attaches the hip muscles and close the incision with stitches.

However, in recent years, some joint specialists also recommend a minimally-invasive technique. Under this new approach, the surgeon makes a small incision (2 to 5 inches long only). Followed by which the same traditional procedure is performed through this small cut using the standard hip replacement surgery methodology. A smaller cut helps to reduce blood loss, ease post-surgery pain, reduces the scar, fastens the recovery process & shortens hospital stays. However, the surgeon performing the minimally-invasive hip replacement surgery needs to be highly skilled as it is a highly volatile procedure.

The surgery may cause some blood loss and hence blood transfusion may be required during hip replacement surgery.

Risks:

Hip replacement surgery is usually very safe, but like any surgery, it also involves certain risks. One such risk is an infection, which could turn serious. However, risks of infection can be reduced by taking guidance from your joint specialist. A blood clot is also a risk associated with this surgery. A blood clot may happen in the leg or pelvis. Also, an accidental hip dislocation or fracture may happen during or after the recovery period. 

Sarvodaya Hospital & Research Centre, Sec-8, Faridabad is a leader in performing orthopaedic surgeries, especially joint replacement surgeries. We have a team of experienced orthopaedic surgeons lead by globally renowned specialists who ensure a successful surgery and faster recovery for all patients. 

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