When your hip bone is damaged (fractured, osteoarthritis, etc.), it is partially or fully replaced with prosthetic components. There are 2 types of hip replacements:
This artificial implant is made of plastic and metal parts. The part of your bone that has undergone degeneration is removed and replaced by metal. A plastic spacer is then put in between the metal parts to serve as cartilage. This will help provide cushion and avoid friction between both metal parts.
Deciding on hip replacement must be a combined effort between you and your orthopedic specialist. There is no absolute weight or age when deciding the need to do replacement. This procedure is not only for elderly people above the age of 60. Young people who might have juvenile or early-onset osteoarthritis, or young people who have a hip fracture may be candidates as well.
Hip replacement is usually the last option. Your orthopedic specialist will try to exhaust all possible conservative managements before deciding to do this procedure. Conservative management may include resting, physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, etc.
After taking your history (noting physical activities and social history such as vices like smoking, etc.), your orthopedic specialist would conduct a physical examination to assess mobility, alignment, and strength. He then may decide to do radiologic studies such as x-rays; and if needed, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
When deciding whether or not to do a joint hip replacement, one must consider many factors. Although most cases of patients having had joint replacement done has resulted in a remarkable decrease in their pain level and increase in the level of activity, it also has its disadvantages. This procedure cannot make your hip work and function as if you were a teenager again. Your hip may wear down in the years to come. Following this, one may then experience loosening and then may have recurrence of pain. Thus, the avoidance of excessive activities must be practiced (avoid running, jogging, jumping, and other high-impact sports).
After the successful surgery, you are expected to follow the doctor’s orders. This is so you’ll improve faster and be able to return to your activities of daily living as early as possible. Your doctor would probably prescribe you the following:
You should be watchful for the following:
Make sure you have someone to assist you with wound cleaning and attending to your necessary needs. After a few days, you may need to check with your doctor for follow up. You may need to have an x-ray to confirm the placement of the implant and how it is doing.
In the rehabilitation process, you are advised to undergo sessions of physical therapy. With this, your progress is monitored and you will be reaching postoperative milestones appropriately. With all these things along with your eagerness and full cooperation to the treatment plan, your goals of going back to your independent activities of daily living will be met and of course, for you to have a worry-free and pain-free life.
To learn more about this and for hip evaluation, book an appointment with our orthopedic specialist.