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All You Must Know About Hip Joint Replacement!

Reviewed by
Dr. Rishabh Jaiswal 87% (33 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Mumbai  •  4 years experience
 All You Must Know About Hip Joint Replacement!

Damaged hips can cause great distress in carrying out daily activities, such as walking, getting dressed and many more. If you have damaged one or both of your hips, and it causes you great pain, you may require a hip replacement. It is a common form of surgery in which a damaged hip joint gets replaced with an artificial one. This is known as a prosthesis.

Conditions which lead to hip replacement

  1. Osteoporosis where the cartilage inside a hip joint gets worn out and the bones rub with each other as a result
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused when the immune system attacks the hip joint lining by mistake
  3. If the hip joint gets damaged severely during an accident or fall

The purpose of a replaced hip joint is to provide pain relief, improve the hip’s function, improve your ability to carry out day-to-day activities and improve your overall quality of life.

Procedure-
A hip replacement is usually carried out under general anesthesia. An incision is made in the hip by the surgeon and the damaged hip joint is removed through it. It is replaced with an artificial metal alloy or a ceramic joint. The surgery takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes for completion.

Recovery-
After the surgery, a walking aid such as crutches is required for up to four to six weeks. You may enroll for an exercise program, which aims at regaining and improving the new hip joint functions. Regular activities can be restored within two to three months. A year is required for utilizing the new hip joint normally.

Risks of hip replacement-
There may be several complications as a result of a hip replacement. They include:

  1. Dislocation of the hips
  2. Infection at the surgery wound
  3. Injury to nerves and blood vessels
  4. Difference between the lengths of two legs
  5. Fractures

Alternative
Hip replacement surgery has an alternative type of surgery, which is called hip resurfacing. During this surgery, the damaged surfaces of the bones within the hip joint are removed and replaced with a metal surface. Less bone is removed in this surgery. However, the metal surface may cause complications and health hazards.

Hip replacement is being improved upon with the advent of technology. Stronger and newer materials are being developed for prosthetics, which will allow enhanced joint mobility and longer wear. New cement-less implants are also being developed. Also, surgery assisted by computer is being used for generating an image of the hip joint.

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