Hip Replacement surgery is a surgical procedure in which a person?s painful hip joint is removed and is replaced with a joint made of metal, ceramic or very hard plastic. This procedure is suggested for those who are experiencing excessive pain in the hip joint due to arthritis and no other treatment has proven useful. Hip replacement surgery can be done in two forms-traditionally or by using a minimally invasive technique. Size of incision is the main difference between the two techniques.
Symptoms which suggest that you need Hip Replacement:
- If you have been experiencing hip pain or hip arthritis that has not
been able to find a good solution and is limiting your daily
activities, then doctors may suggest you to undergo hip replacement
- If hip pain continues even while resting in the day or night, then
this too is an indication that you must undergo hip replacement.
- If you are unable to move or lift your leg/legs due to pain or
stiffness then too you might be an ideal candidate for hip
- Besides this, you must talk to your doctor clearly and have realistic
expectations and understanding of the process before you decide to go
for it and if your doctor is convinced that this is the way to go.
Pre procedure and preparation
One may need to follow certain steps in order to prepare for Hip Replacement and they are given as follows:
2. Your skin must not have any kind of infections before the procedure
and your doctor will inspect you for the same.
3. You may be required to donate blood before the surgery as it can be
used for your own transfusion in case you lose too much blood.
4. You must tell your doctors about your medical history and also about
all the medications that you are currently taking.
5. You may be asked to lose weight before the procedure if you are
6. You may require someone to be with you in the hospital both during
and after the procedure. Also since you may not be able to move for
few days, you will have to arrange for help for your daily
activities like cooking, washing and cleaning etc.
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- In case of total hip replacement surgery or the traditional form of
surgery, ends of both bones are replaced in a damaged joint to create
new joint surfaces. This procedure makes use of ceramic, metal,
plastic parts to replace the ball which is at the upper end of
thighbone. The hip socket is then resurfaced in the pelvic bone.
- Cement may or may not be used in this procedure.
- On the other hand, a minimally invasive hip replacement surgery
includes a smaller incision as well as less blood loss. This
procedure is harder to perform and may thus take a longer time. This
procedure is not available at all hospitals and not every surgeon may
be agree to perform it.
The following steps take place after the Hip Replacement surgery:
1. You will have to take antibiotics and other medications to control
pain and also prevent blood clots for a few days after the surgery.
2. You may feel like you have an upset stomach or are constipated after
the procedure. If this happens, tell your doctor about it.
3. A catheter may be attached to your bladder so that you don?t have to
get up to urinate.
4. Sometimes a compression stocking or pump may also be attached on
your leg. Its purpose is to squeeze your leg to keep the blood
circulation normal in order to prevent blood clots.
5. Your doctor may teach you simple breathing exercises and will keep
you under careful monitoring for a few days.
6. You will be asked to walk, exercise and move only gradually but you
will be on bed rest for a few days after the surgery. Your doctor
will give you proper advice on each step.
7. Most hip replacement patients are able to walk within the same day
or next day of surgery; most can resume normal routine activities
within the first 3 to 6 weeks of their total hip replacement
8. A physical therapist may help you with some exercises that you can
do in the hospital and at home to speed recovery.
Risks and complications
There are a few risks and complications involved with the hip replacement surgery and you must be aware of them before you go ahead with the process. they are as follows:
- Since a person is on bed rest after the surgery and won?t be able to
move much, blood clots tend to form and can be a matter of concern.
Doctors may give blood thinners to deal with this issue.
- Issues related to general anaesthesia can also arise and this too is
a certain concern associated with hip replacement surgery.
- Infection at the site of incision or wound may also be caused and it
can be threatening if not dealt with on time.
- Some people also experience bleeding and this is the reason why
doctors may suggest blood transfusion to make up for the lost blood.
- Legs may not be of equal length after the procedure and doctors may
ask not to sit cross legged or sit too low.
- Nerves in the hip area may get injured due to swelling and this can
result in numbness.
The cost of hip replacement depends upon the type of procedure and may cost Rs.3 to 4 lakhs in India as compared to a whopping Rs.20-25 lakhs in US.
Key global facts
The following are some interesting facts about hip replacement surgery:
- Man made or artificial hips are smaller in size than normal hips.
- Your body may reject the artificial bone or hip and this is known as
- Hip replacement can be performed on adults of any age group however
it is most commonly performed on people between the age of 60 and 80
- The number of hip replacement surgeries has been increasing with each
passing year and sky rocketed between 2000 and 2010.
- Hip replacement costs only a small amount in India as compared to
what it costs in UK and US.