Hip replacement is done to replace a hip that is so badly damaged that it causes the patient pain and impairs their ability to walk. The procedure was first used in the 1960s.
Most patients are between 60 and 80 years old, and most of the conditions that damage the hips are age-related disorders such as osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and broken bones can also damage a hip badly enough that it needs replacing.
Children and teens sometimes need a hip replacement. In their case, the problem is usually a birth defect like hip dysplasia.
What Does Hip Replacement Involve?
During hip replacement, the surgeon may replace one hip or both hips. The surgeon will remove the damaged part of the hip and then replace it with a prosthetic made of metal or plastic.
The hip is a “ball and socket” joint, with the socket being located on the pelvis and the ball being the uppermost part of the thigh bone. In hip replacement, the surgeon replaces the joint with a jointed prosthesis that will fit the socket in the pelvis. The other end will go inside the leg bone. The surgeon will also replace the damaged parts of the socket with a metal sheath.
What is the Recovery Like?
Recovery from hip replacement varies, but it will generally take months. The patient will meet with a physical therapist, who will help them adjust to the new hip and teach them exercises.
The patient should try to start moving as soon as possible, for prolonged bed rest increases the risk of issues. They will need crutches or a walker to help them walk for the first few weeks.
The patient will not be able to drive for a set amount of time and will, therefore, need somebody to bring them home. They will also need somebody to do any needed shopping and run errands for them.
In time, the patient will be able to resume most light activities. They may be able to drive again. After total healing, the patient will be able to resume their normal activities.
How to Get Started and Learn More
Reach out to the team at Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates to learn more about hip replacement and whether or not this procedure is necessary in your case. We have offices in Plymouth, Sandwich and Duxbury. Contact us today to book your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!