DAVE WATTS, MD
Hip Replacement Surgery and Things You Should Know
Let us have a look at the most important aspects of the hip replacement surgery.
What is Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery is a painful procedure for replacing a damaged joint. There can be different reasons for the removal of the painful hip joint. The doctor replaces the original joint with the one made of plastic and metal parts.
Hip replacement surgery is not the first or second or third option for a doctor to treat hip pain. A doctor only recommends the use hip replacement surgical procedure when conservative treatment methods fail. The hip replacement surgery usually makes it easy for the patient to walk and alleviates pain.
When To Consider Undergoing Hip Replacement Surgery?
Let us have a look at the different treatment methods before you must consider undergoing hip replacement.
Here is a look at some conservative methods of treating hip pain.
The orthopedic surgery doctor in Sioux Falls may advise the patient to use anti-inflammatory medicines. Typical choices of medicines include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These medicines can help the patients overcome pain. Make sure that you carefully listen to the doctor’s recommended dose of the medicine. Some patients may have side effects of the medicines like bleeding or ulcers. In case of any complications, immediately get in touch with your doctor.
Corticosteroid injections need a procedure to be injected into the affected hip area. The procedure involves a radiologist for relieving the pain. The number of shots required depend on the patient’s condition. The orthopedic physician may ask the patient to have these injections once every three months.
The use of physical therapy helps improve hip muscles’ strength. The stronger hip muscles give more stability to the joint and overcome pain because of arthritis. Similarly, in some cases, hip replacement can help increase the motion of the joint. A lot of patients suffering from hip issues are also suffering from lower back pain. Physical therapy helps improve the lower back.
The Purpose of Conservative Hip Treatment Methods
The conservative methods of treating hip pain may have a limited utility. They do not in most cases treat the reason behind the pain. However, these nonoperative hip treatments help reduce inflammation. Patients with radiographic evidence of groin pain will unfortunately have it worsen over time.
Benefits of Hip Replacement Surgery
Let us have a look at the potential benefits of hip replacement surgery.
Improved Range of Motions
The hip replacement surgery can help improve the range of the joint motions. The use of hip replacement procedure enables the patients to sit with their legs crossed. However, they need to wait for 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery so the joint is able to stabilize itself. The increase in range of motions helps the patients enjoy a better quality of life.
Reduced Risk of Hip Dislocation
Patients worry about the possibility of hip joint dislocation right after the surgery. However, an anterior hip replacement surgery does not interfere with the muscles. The surgery ensures no damage done to the surrounding soft tissues. Therefore, an anterior hip replacement surgery helps reduce the risk of hip dislocation.
Anterior replacement surgery enables the patient to quickly recovery. The patient can after sometime put weight on their hip. In some cases, the orthopedic surgeon in Sioux Falls SD can ask the patient to use crutches. Or, they may temporarily use walker in case of a traditional hip replacement surgery. The patients undergoing anterior hip replacement surgery can start walking without a support in one to two weeks time.
Less Damage to the Muscles Surrounding Hip Joint
An anterior replacement surgery does not cut any major muscles. The surgeon works just between a few muscles instead of cutting the major ones. This also involves not detaching any muscle from the bones. This approach avoids unnecessary damage to the muscles or nerves. Thus, the patient will expectedly have lesser pain after the surgery.
Potential Risks of Hip Replacement Surgery
Let us have a look at the risks associated with hip replacement surgery.
There is a very minute chance of hip dislocation in the replacement surgery. It is one of the most difficult complications to handle. Hip dislocation results in femur head coming out of the hip socket.
In most cases the doctor can return the head of a hip back to its original position. However, if the hip dislocation occurs a second time, the doctor may use a hip replacement surgery for stabilization.
Similarly, there is a minor chance of patients developing hip surgery infection. In most of such cases the infection improves with time. However, there are some cases which result in systemic infection.
Make sure to routinely use antibiotics as per your doctor’s recommendation. The implant is usually not responsible for infection. A patient may need to take antibiotics for up to 6 weeks. Hip replacement patients undergoing dental surgery, must convey that to their dentist. In some cases dental procedures may result in infection of the hip.
Swelling, Inflammation, and Blood Clots
It is a normal reaction from the body to have inflammation or swelling in the affected area. However, it will take time before the swelling completely goes away. Make sure to report any sudden increase in the swelling. Calf tenderness may point to the possibility of a blood clot. Even if you have these symptoms months after the hip replacement surgery, you must immediately get in touch with your surgeon at Sioux Falls Orthopedics in SD.
Difference in Length of Legs
It may sound an odd thing that hip surgery procedure might result in change of leg length. However, there is a possibility that the operation may create a difference. In some cases the patient may feel it be slightly shorter or longer than the other leg.
The orthopedic surgery doctor may recommend the use of a shoe insert to compensate for the difference. Sometimes, it is a temporary feeling because the patient has become used to arthritis affected leg. Therefore, in some cases, the patient only needs time to adjust.
Stiffness in the Hip Joint
There are some cases where patients develop a scar tissue. The development of this new scar tissue reduces the hip flexibility and movement. The result is a stiffness in the hip. This kind of risk mostly prevails in patients with reduced pre-surgery flexibility.
Allergy to Bone Cement
The orthopedic physician may use bone cement for adhering hip prostheses to the hip bone. There is a small possibility that the patient may develop an allergic reaction to the bone cement. In some cases, the orthopedic surgeon may remove the cement of bone and also remove the prostheses. In rare cases such allergic reaction may be fatal for the patient.
Damage to muscles and nerves around the hip joint
In some rare cases, hip replacement surgery may damage the surrounding tendons, muscles, and ligament around the joint. This damage may also extend to nerves, veins, and arteries. Sometimes, it may result in decreased feeling in the legs or weakness.
Increase in Pain
In some very rare cases, the patient may have an increase in hip pain. Therefore, always consult your orthopedic surgeon in Sioux Falls, SD to know the associated risks of hip replacement surgery.
Fracture & Loosening of Artificial Hip Joint
Loosening of the artificial hip joint can result in the fracture. The fracture usually occurs within 10 to 15 years of the hip replacement surgery. The fracture can cause serious pain and lead to hip instability. The loosening usually occurs because of the thinning of the implant. A surgery is usually required to fix the fracture.
Need for Revision Hip Surgery
The collection of blood in a wound is known as haematoma. It is normal to have a small blood leak after the surgery. However, this bleeding usually stops in a couple of days. However, if the leak continues for more than 15 days, you need to get in touch with your orthopedic surgeon.
Metal Related Complications
There is a metal or ceramic ball for most of the artificial knee joints. The ceramic or metal ball fits into a linear cup made of hard plastic. In some cases, the metal or ceramic ball fits into a metal liner cup. The metal on metal hip joint may have a longer life. However, this metal on metal prostheses approach can result in complications. Some of the metal on metal problems include bone erosion, inflammation, and bloodstream.
Common Problems Which May Lead to Hip Replacement Surgery
There can be numerous reasons which may lead to a hip replacement surgery. Let us have a look at the different potential causes.
The Different Types of Hip Arthritis
The wearing of the cartilage at the end of the hip bone can cause osteoarthritis. The wearing of cartilage results in bones rubbing against each other. People over the age of 50 usually have this problem. People with a family history of arthritis are more prone to this kind of illness. People who have to do hard physical labor or sports activities may also have hip osteoarthritis.
Traumatic arthritis sets in after an injury or trauma to the hip bone. The trauma damages the articular cartilage and gradually becomes responsible for stiffness and hip pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the inflammation of the synovial membrane. Too much production of the synovial fluid results in damaging the articular cartilage.
Other Ailments Where Hip Replacement Surgery Might Help
There are other degenerative diseases where the patient may need to undergo hip replacement surgery. These diseases may disrupt the supply of blood to the femur and ultimately resulting in hip problems. Other reasons may also include Gaucher disease, sickle cell disease, gout, diabetes, broken hips or hip fracture.