Many of us hardly pay attention to our hips. That is until something goes wrong. The hip joint is actually one of the largest joints in the body. It also plays a critical role in mobility. This joint bears a good deal of body weight and provides support for a wide variety of body movements. In fact, you wouldn’t be able to get from one point to another in comfort without a properly functioning hip joint. When you experience hip joint problems, hip replacement surgery may be required. The goal of hip replacement surgery and hip replacement alternatives is to restore pain-free function to your hip.
Many people that are facing hip replacement surgery are curious about what it is and how it will affect their lives going forward. The following are some facts you should know about a hip replacement before the procedure.
1. Hip replacement will decrease pain and improve your quality of life
Hip replacement is often left as a last resort. If your doctor has suggested having the procedure, it may be because the hip problems are interfering with your life. This procedure is done to decrease pain and restore mobility to your hips. Doctors suggest this procedure to patients who are experiencing pain that interferes with sleep or stiffness that prevents them from walking or bending over. Your doctor may have tried various hip replacement alternatives such as physical therapy and medicine prior to recommending surgery.
2. There are different types of hip replacements
Hip replacement surgery has come a long way over the years. There are now different types of hip replacements available. You may not need to have the entire hip replaced and therefore be a candidate for a partial hip replacement. This often involves the removal and replacement of only the ball of the thighbone.
If you’re preparing to undergo a total hip replacement, your doctor may present you with three options i.e. cemented, uncemented, and hybrid hip replacements. It is important to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each of these options in detail with your doctor and make an informed choice.
It is also important to note that not all situations call for traditional open surgery. In fact, many doctors prefer to go with minimally invasive surgery for hip replacement. Recovery is much shorter when you undergo minimally invasive surgery. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for this type of surgery. It is therefore important to discuss your options with your doctor.
3. Hip replacements can last up to 20 years
Hip replacements aren’t as durable as a natural hip joint. They succumb to wear and tear after about 20 years of use. Therefore if you received a hip replacement at 40, you will probably need to have additional surgery by the time you turn 60.
There are several things that you can do to help prolong the artificial hip’s life. These include maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight will place more pressure on the artificial hip. This will increase the risk of joint failure. Regular exercise will also help to stabilize the joint and help reduce the risk of failure.
4. Many of the risks are manageable
Hip replacement surgery has a high success rate. However, there are several risks that can arise from the procedure. These include bleeding, blood clots, implant failure, infection, pain, dislocation and uneven leg lengths. The good news is that there are things you can do to manage these risks.
Your doctor can prescribe you a blood thinner in order to guard against blood clots. Avoid crossing your legs in order to protect your hops. Be sure to sleep with a pillow between your legs and avoid bending your knees past 90 degrees before your hip is fully healed. Engage in physical therapy as part of your rehabilitation once your doctor gives you the all-clear.
Be sure to discuss other ways you can improve recovery and protect your hips with your doctor. Ask questions such as ‘what vitamins to take after hip replacement surgery.’ Learning as much as you can about safety, what to expect and how to care for your body will help improve your chances of success.
Do you have hip problems, contact the office of Dr. Chris Boone and book an appointment.
Read next: 5 Great Exercises to Strengthen Your Hips