Mobility for a person is very important, and when you look through, the hip is a very important component to this. It connects the upper and lower parts of the body and helps in movement. It is a ball and socket joint, where the hip bone provides a socket, into which the upper part of the thighbone (femur) sits into, allowing for free movement.
Like any other human organ, the hip also is prone to damage. Be it natural ageing, infection, injury, or diseases, hip movement can be affected, leading to limited movement and increased pain and stiffness. For these people, being able to get back a hip which will allow them to be back on their feet is a boon for sure. It helps in relieving pain and improving mobility, almost giving people a second lease of life.
Reasons for hip replacement:
- With natural ageing, the hip joint can lose its ability to move, due to normal wear and tear of the hip and thigh bones
- Diseases of the hips (infectious or autoimmune) can also lead to hip replacement
- Injury or trauma is another major cause that requires hip replacement
- Joint problems, leading to repeated dislocations
- Tumours of the relevant bones
Understanding the procedure in detail
- The affected bones (whether diseases or worn out) are replaced with a prosthesis which is compatible with the normal body tissue.
- While some materials fuse to the natural bone, others do not and are simply placed as a separate unit
- This is a surgery which requires hospitalisation and stays for up to 5 days depending on patient’s overall health condition
- The entire procedure may take a couple of hours and is usually done under general anaesthesia
- An incision is made through the side of the hip
- Both the hip and the thigh joints are prepared, diseased tissue removed, re-shaped, etc. to make way for the prosthesis
- The prosthesis is introduced through the same incision and positioned into place
- As noted earlier, there are two types. The ones which fuse to the bone have pores in them into which normal bone eventually grows.
- The other variety is the cemented version, and a glue is used to keep it in place
- Most doctors now use a combination, that is cement a porous prosthesis, into which bone will grow, and the incisions are closed
- The patient stays in the hospital for 1 to 4 days depending on overall health
- Once discharged, infection and pain control are continued
- Exercise and physiotherapy play a major role in restoring normal function
- Weight management is also very important
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