Hip replacement often can help alleviate pain and improve mobility in people who suffer from severe arthritis or previous hip injuries. It is often recommended for those whose hip joint pain does not improve with nonsurgical treatments.
The procedure effectively restores the function of your hip by replacing the deteriorated or damaged hip joint with a hip prosthesis (artificial hip joint).
Hip replacement surgery is usually completed in a few hours. You can expect the following on the day of your surgery:
An anesthesiologist will administer either general anesthesia (puts you to sleep during the surgery) or spinal anesthesia (you remain awake but cannot feel anything from the waist down) before the procedure.
Your surgeon will make an incision on the front or side of your hip and carefully remove damaged hip joint parts.
The surgeon will then insert the hip prosthesis.
Once the hip prosthesis is in place, your surgeon will close the incision with stitches and protect the wound with a surgical dressing.
What to Expect Following a Hip Replacement
Recovery time for this procedure requires you to stay in the hospital for a few days. During this time, your care team will take measures to prevent infection, swelling and blood clots. You will also receive pain medicine if necessary.
A physical therapist will teach you exercises before you go home that will assist with recovery.
Upon your return home, it’s important for you to follow your physician’s instructions for recovery. This includes regularly performing exercises the physical therapist reviewed with you. These exercises will help restore strength and mobility.
You will likely need to use an assistive device, such as a cane or walker, until you feel comfortable walking without support. You may want to arrange for help with daily tasks until you feel well enough to do them on your own.
Recovery from a hip replacement can take six to 12 weeks or longer.
Your hip replacement care team may include specialists from these services:
- Home Care
- Physical Therapy & Rehab
- Wound Care
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with hip replacement surgery. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you before scheduling the procedure.