American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons called hip replacement surgery, “one of the most successful operations in all of medicine.” A lot has changed since the first hip replacement surgery was performed in 1960. We’ll explore the differences in a partial vs total hip replacement, the two surgical methods of a hip replacement surgery, the benefits and risks, and 15 Do’s & Don’ts following surgery.
People who are candidates for hip replacement surgery have typically tried all other treatments and not found sufficient relief from the pain. Their pain often interferes with daily activities and prevents them from having the lifestyle they want. Pain is often found in the groin, thigh, buttocks, and sometimes knee. Those contemplating hip replacement may have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or other related disease,
- Injuries or fractures to the hip bone,
- Aged 60 and older (though recent trends are showing younger people as well),
- Difficulty using stairs, bending, standing up from a seated position
There are two types of hip replacement surgery. A total hip replacement surgery is when the surgeon removes the hip joint entirely (femur and socket) and replaces it with an artificial prosthesis. In a partial hip resurfacing, only the femur head is reshaped and resurfaced.
The two approaches to total hip replacement surgery include the Posterior Approach (surgeon accesses hip through incision close to the buttocks) and the Anterior Approach (surgeon accesses hip through incision from the front). Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseph Chenger explains these two different approaches on the Dr. Bob show (below).
Potential benefits of the surgery include:
- Pain relief
- Improved mobility
- Ability to perform low-impact activities
- Increased independence
Potential risks of the surgery include:
- Blood clots
- Heart problems
- Nerve damage
Talk to your physician if you are contemplating hip replacement surgery to learn about your personal risks and how you can minimize them. For example, many physicians recommend their patients are put on an antibiotic following surgery to help minimize the risk of infection, particularly if one is going to have dental work or surgery performed.
15 Do’s & Don’ts Following Hip Replacement Surgery
- DO NOT cross your legs
- DO NOT bend your hips more than a right angle
- DO NOT turn your feet inward/outward
- DO continue light exercises to maintain strength
- DO have routine follow-up visits with your physician
- DO rearrange furniture in your home to make your pathways accessible
- DO use homecare equipment & supplies such as grab bars, walkers, and canes as needed
- DO NOT drive for 4-6 weeks or until instructed by your physician
- DO sleep on your back with a pillow in-between your lets at night
- DO NOT bend at the waist beyond 90 degrees
- DO NOT bring your knee up higher than your hip
- DO use ice to reduce pain and swelling
- DO apply heat before exercising
- DO make preparations in advance for what you will need during recovery
- DO consult your physician about any possible side-effects or complications of surgery
If you have other questions about hip replacement surgery, send them to advocate(at)lambertshc.com. We will do our best to help you find the resources you need!